Chinese gaming giant NetEase have announced their plans to open a new studio in Barcelona. The city, located in Catalonia, Spain has also seen investment from mobile giant Rovio. The announcement of the new studio also came with the news they would be working on an ‘innovative new project’ as the studio’s flagship title. As yet, it’s unclear what sort of game this will be or on what platform, but NetEase are already recruiting for roles around it.
NetEase has previously pledged to expand its AAA offerings from the lucrative mobile market and into the wider gaming world. Although not necessarily as profitable, it would serve to diversify their revenue streams and ideally to form a greater presence in the gaming landscape. The mention of mobile in their LinkedIn post that also announced the opening of the new studio certainly suggests they aren’t intending to break entirely from the mobile world, even if that's simply in the talent and people they acquire.
NetEasy does it
NetEase’s intention to expand beyond the mobile gaming landscape does not mean they intend to drop these efforts entirely. However, the vagueness of the project that the Barcelona studio is working on suggests it is intended to be something attention-grabbing. This could indeed indicate a foray into the PC or console platforms.
The studio will also be encouraging hybrid and remote working, indicating a broad net approach to grabbing a diversity of talent.
With the opening of new studios including the previously announced GPTRACK50 and the falling through of their deal with Blizzard, NetEase are likely feeling the need to quickly diversify and increase their strategic expansion. The opening of the Barcelona offices confirms what we already know, which is that NetEase aren’t looking domestically to China for continued success, but worldwide.
NetEase also recently announced they would be joining Tencent in bringing back previously discontinued games to make up for a shortfall caused by the collapse of the Blizzard deal and the still slim amount of game licences being approved by Chinese regulators.