Chinas second-biggest gaming company is opening a U.S. studio led by an MMO veteran

Chinese gaming giant NetEase is opening a brand new U.S.-based studio to develop PC and console games.

The news was first reported earlier today by games industry analyst Daniel Ahmad. NetEase, the second-biggest Chinese gaming company behind the prolific Tencent conglomerate, is making its venture into the West with its first studio entirely in the U.S., headed up by games developer veteran Jack Emmert.

China’s #2 games company NetEase is opening a new studio in the US called Jackalope Games to create AAA PC and Console games. Will be led by industry veteran Jack Emmert. Follows the opening of NetEase studios in Canada and Japan. https://t.co/dvxLEK6VLS pic.twitter.com/oGIwAn90tJMay 5, 2022

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Right now, there’s been no official word from NetEase, Emmert, or anyone else at the new studio called Jackalope Games, on what the developer could be making. However, looking into Emmert’s history reveals a career littered with years spent developing MMOs like Star Trek Online and DC Universe Online, so it wouldn’t be a huge surprise if Jackalope Games is developing something similar.

“NetEase Games is the best possible place for me and my team to thrive,” Emmert said in a press release earlier today. “We share the same passion– to create engaging online universes for gamers worldwide. NetEase Games is providing the support and resources needed to build a great studio and great games,” the studio director continued.

The press release also notes that Jackalope will operate independently from NetEase, and maintain creative autonomy in developing and publishing its titles. Jackalope Games is currently based out of Austin in the U.S., but the press release notes that the studio will look all over the world to hire talent to work remotely for the new studio.

Just earlier this year, long-time Sega creator and Yakuza franchise head Toshihiro Nagoshi announced he would be departing the company to create a brand new studio under NetEase. Nagoshi Studio also saw a lot of high-level talent departing Sega with the boss, and just like NetEase’s new venture into the U.S., marked the first Japan-based studio for the company.

Check out our new games 2022 guide for a complete look over all the titles launching throughout this year.

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