Chinese tech giant NetEase has set up a studio dedicated to next-generation development in Tokyo.
As spotted by Daniel Ahmad – a senior Niko Partners analyst – via Twitter (below), the Shibuya office is called Sakura Studio and will hire staff with experience across console, PC and mobile.
"NetEase is known for its high-quality PC and Mobile games and has recently started to explore console with a port of its self-developed battle royale game. It is now looking to expand to a multiplatform strategy with titles that can scale across all or multiple platforms," said Ahmad.
The company had already shown an interest in expanding upon the platforms it uses, last month it unveiled a new triple-A title inspired by Norse mythology. The game will launch on mobile, PC and console.
NetEase, the second largest video games company in China, has established a new next generation game development studio in Tokyo, Japan (Shibuya office).— Daniel Ahmad (@ZhugeEX) June 5, 2020
- To research and develop console games
- Will hire JP talent with Console / PC / Mobile experience
- Is called Sakura Studio pic.twitter.com/et2ZgC4tXV
A shift in focus
For 14 years, consoles were banned in China, and as a result, many Chinese companies have ignored the home platforms. Furthermore, less than one per cent of total games revenue in the country comes from consoles.
However, NetEase's biggest rival, Tencent, has also shown an interest in taking its games to other platforms. It is also the distributor for the Nintendo Switch in China.
Recently, NetEase launched a second listing on the stock exchange market in Hong Kong, and it hopes to raise between $2 billion and $3 billion.