NetEase will make a major new investment into the European market with the founding of a new studio under their NetEase Games Group, Anchor Point Studios.
The new studio will be headed by Remedy veteran Paul Ehreth [far right in our pic] as CEO and creative director, who was also lead designer on Control and Halo. Ehreth is joined by ex-Smilegate head of operations Pere Torrents [far left] and a team with decades of past experience upon games such as Ghost of Tsushima, Red Dead Redemption 2, and The Division.
The studio will be headquartered in Barcelona, Spain and will feature both in-office working facilities as well as fully-remote and hybrid working environments.
President of global investments and partnerships at NetEase Games, Simon Zhu commented “When we met Paul, we immediately realised he had the passion to create truly magical worlds, with experiences that are surprising and offer something new every single time they are played.
“At NetEase Games, we believe in giving creators the ability to build games of lasting quality that will be played for many years to come. We know Anchor Point Studios is reaching for the stars and we’ll make every effort to help them get there.”
Big investments in Europe by China
It’s likely no coincidence that this announcement comes after Tencent indicated they would be making bigger investments into Europe. It seems the headline for that story ("Will the rest of China follow?") is already looking like a "Yes.” It’s worth noting that NetEase is not acquiring an existing studio but founding a wholly new entity. While console and PC may be the studio’s initial focus, the move does indicate that major spending is on the cards for a studio with major industry talent heading it.
It seems likely that Anchor Point was the new studio initially announced by NetEase in January of 2023 to open in Barcelona, and it’s another major investment in the city after Rovio previously announced the opening of a new branch.
It appears that many Chinese companies view Europe as a lucrative market to invest in, with a more diverse legislature, an existing base of many experienced studios and less risky than the US where Chinese companies have seen unwanted attention with debates around apps like TikTok.