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NetEase unveils Japanese studio PinCool Inc.

The studio will be led by Dragon Quest veteran Ryutaro Ichimura
NetEase unveils Japanese studio PinCool Inc.
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NetEase has announced the launch of its newest studio, PinCool Inc, which is comprised of industry experts with experience in various facets of interactive entertainment, including video games, movie creatives, and IP licensing.

The studio is led by industry veteran Ryutaro Ichimura, best known for his work as producer of the Dragon Quest franchise, as well as his work in anime properties and in other areas related to the IP, such as live events. Additionally, branding and marketing specialist Takahsi Ogura, who has previously worked on the likes of Doraemon at Epoch and Dragon Quest: The Adventures of Dai at Square Enix, will act as a board member for the studio.

“‘Creativity to make life more enjoyable’ encapsulates our philosophy,” said Ichimura. “The company name comes from the Japanese phrase ‘pin to kuru,’ expressing when an idea clicks. The English name ‘PinCool’ is pronounced similarly and is stylized to include the English word ‘cool’ as well.

“We offer something you won’t find anywhere else. We aim to deliver fun experiences to people across the globe through projects that take advantage of the kind of new ideas that come from untethered creative freedom. We also aim to release smaller titles while we continue our work on large-scale titles. I’m looking forward to what lies in store in the adventure of PinCool!”

A continued trend

Although the company will focus on console development, it will also be involved in the production of a range of additional forms of entertainment.

The foundation of yet another studio focused on console development signals the continuation of a trend for NetEase - that is, moves away from its traditional mobile base. Although mobile continues to be the company’s primary revenue driver, accounting for 72.3% of the total revenue generated from its online gaming division in Q1, NetEase has been making moves to strengthen its presence on other platforms, allowing it to maximise its revenue streams.

“As a company that is passionate about creating immersive gaming experiences, we recognize the significant role that Ichimura-san played in the development of the Dragon Quest series,” said NetEase Games global president of investments and partnerships Simon Zhu. “We believe that his commitment to quality and to building innovative experiences is one of the reasons why the Dragon Quest franchise has endured for so long. He has shaped the RPG genre and inspired countless game developers around the world so we’re very excited to see him join NetEase Games and begin a new journey with PinCool. We are committed to creating an environment at NetEase Games for Ichimura-san to thrive, explore new ideas, and continue creating unforgettable gaming experiences for game lovers.”

We listed NetEase as one of the top 50 mobile game makers of 2022.