Chinese gaming giant NetEase unveils first gaming studio in US

Chinese gaming giant NetEase unveils first gaming studio in US

Chinese internet tech major NetEase, Inc. has reportedly opened its first wholly-owned gaming studio in the USA, called Jackalope Games, in a move designed to drive its international expansion in face of a slowing domestic market.

The development studio is based in Austin, Texas, and will be responsible for creating new console and PC games for the company, headed by former Cryptic Studios CEO, Jack Emmert.

For the record, the company had been aggressively pushing into overseas markets over the past two years as regulations in China tightened, having reported a $9.8 billion gaming revenue last year.

In 2021, China introduced new rules that cut down the amount of time children below the age of 18 can play online games to only three hours in a week. Regulators also held back the approval of new games and gaming titles that need to be green-lighted by regulators for getting monetized in the country.

Just last month, regulators approved a new collection of games since July last year.

While NetEase chose to acquire small stakes in various firms, even opening its own first-party studio, its rival Tencent, which has the largest stake in the Chinese video game industry, has been working on its international expansion by acquiring other game developers.

NetEase already has two Japanese gaming studios and is focusing on creating games that have a global appeal, such as Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings titles.

Hu Zhipeng, VP at NetEase, had said that he hopes 50% of the firm’s gaming revenue in the future will be from overseas, a significant jump from the 10% it was at the time Zhipeng made the statement.

The company had primarily focused on developing mobile and PC games but recently began focusing on creating titles for game consoles such as Sony’s PlayStation and Microsoft’s Xbox. With the US studio, the company will be able to focus more on developing console games.

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