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NetEase opens PinCool studio in Japan

Dragon Quest 8 and 9 producer Ryutaro Ichimura to head up office working on console games and other entertainment

NetEase today announced the launch of its new Japanese development studio PinCool.

The company is entrusting the new Tokyo studio to representative director and president Ryutaro Ichimura, who has spent much of his more than two decades in the industry working on various projects in the Dragon Quest franchise.

He may be most notable as the producer on Dragon Quest 8: Journey of the Cursed King and Dragon Quest 9: Sentinels of the Starry Skies.

"We offer something you won't find anywhere else," Ichimura said of PinCool. "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."

Beyond his experience in games, Ichimura has also worked on Dragon Quest brand extensions such as the anime Dragon Quest: The Adventure of Dai and live events using the franchise.

Another veteran from the Adventure of Dai and other multimedia franchises, Takashi Ogura, is joining PinCool as a board member.

While the studio is primarily going to work on making console games, NetEase said it "will also be involved in planning and producing a range of additional forms of entertainment."

The studio's name was derived from the Japanese phrase "pin to kuru," which refers to the moment an idea clicks.

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Brendan Sinclair avatar
Brendan Sinclair: Brendan joined in 2012. Based in Toronto, Ontario, he was previously senior news editor at GameSpot.
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