The influence China wields in the gaming industry as not only an economic force but as a developmental source continues to grow with the announcement that Ryosuke Yoshida, a former developer for Capcom, has jumped ship to Chinese studio NetEase and its newly formed, Tokyo, Japan-based development studio NetEase Games Sakura Studio. Yoshida’s work includes Devil May Cry 5 and Monster Hunter: Generations. The studio in question formed back in June as a next-generation, console-centric development studio meant to give the Chinese NetEase a foothold in a major gaming development center, presumably to draw talent and doing just that with the acquisition of Yoshida. Ryosuke made the announcement himself on Twitter over the weekend.
On a personal note,I quit Capcom on July 4.
I was very happy to be able to develop for 12 years at Capcom.
From now on,I will leave Japan and go overseas to develop games for next-gen.
(I work from home in JP until COVID-19 calms down.)
I will continue doing my best！
— Ryosuke Yoshida (@YoshidaBeer) July 6, 2020
NetEase should ring some bells due to the fact that its the studio responsible for Blizzard’s gain of a foothold in the Chinese market over the past decade and a half, publishing and localizing the likes of Warcraft III, Hearthstone, World of Warcraft, Diablo III, and Overwatch for Activision. It is also the company developing the notorious Diablo Immortal, which rumor has it requires a cellular phone in order to play. NetEase was founded in the late ’90s and is a publicly traded corporate entity. Yoshida is the second big-name talent to leave Capcom as of late, with Dragon’s Dogma gameplay lead developer Ryota Suzuki departing last month for Square-Enix. Ryosuke will be a Senior Game Designer at NetEase Sakura.
While China hasn’t been shy about game development in the past decade, the likes of NetEase and Tencent making waves and drawing in talent is part of a new push that could see Chinese developers gaining much-needed credibility and clout in the game space. Only time will tell if the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X generation will be the one that sees China become a major player in video game development, but it certainly has the money and access to make it so.