NetEase, a leading Chinese internet company, has founded a brand-new development team, Ouka Studio. The team is establishing its roots in Shibuya, Tokyo, and plans to focus its efforts on developing games for next-gen platforms.
This news comes by way of a statement via NetEase Games’ official website. The statement, via Gematsu, reveals Ouka Studio will be helmed by a Studio Director who has a long history with producing console experiences. Most notably, this new team under NetEase Games will “develop high-quality games alongside game lovers of Japan and create a new future for games.”
At present, Ouka Studio remains very much in its early days. The recruitment section of the company’s website shows that job listings are currently live for a series of roles, such as artists, designers, directors, engineers, and graphic engineers. Ouka Studio’s website also appears to tease concept art for an unknown project. If the studio is already hard at work on a project, neither NetEase nor Ouka is willing to share any concrete information as of yet.
NetEase Games’ shift towards console development seems an interesting turn of events. The internet technology company is primarily known for producing games of the mobile and PC variety in American, Chinese, and Japanese markets. NetEase has been dipping its toes in other sectors of the business, though. In January 2019, for instance, NetEase invested in Quantic Dream, acquiring a minority stake in the studio behind Heavy Rain and Detroit: Become Human. Such an investment is allowing the French team to develop new IP that will release across multiple platforms. NetEase also invested $100 million into Bungie two years ago, though word on what project that will result in has yet to materialize. That deal was made just before Bungie cut ties with Activision in early 2019.