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NetEase Games reveals new Japanese studio PinCool

NetEase Games reveals new Japanese studio PinCool

Chinese games giant NetEase has opened yet another game developer, this time in Japan.

The venture is called PinCool and is headed up by Ryutaro Ichimura (pictured), best-known for being a producer on the Dragon Quest franchise since 2005. He joined Square Enix back in 2000.

“Creativity to make life more enjoyable’ encapsulates our philosophy," Ichimura said.

"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."

NetEase Games' global president of investments and partnerships, Simon Zhu, added: “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. 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.”

This is the latest in a long list of new studios opened by NetEase Games as the Chinese firm tries to have more of its business outside of its homeland. 

The company opened a new Canadian studio called Bad Brain just last week

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Alex Calvin is a freelance journalist who writes about the business of games. He started out at UK trade paper MCV in 2013 and left as deputy editor over three years later. In June 2017, he joined Steel Media as the editor for new site In October 2019 he left this full-time position at the company but still contributes to the site on a daily basis. He has also written for, VGC, Games London, The Observer/Guardian and Esquire UK.