NetEase Gears Up To Acquire More Japanese Developers

Chinese tech giant NetEase has invested in Grounding Inc., the Japanese developer of Worlds End Club and Space Channel 5 VR.

This was discovered by Gametsu on a public announcement made by Groundings Inc., stating its shareholding changes.

This should not be seen as an isolated event. Not so long ago, rumor said NetEase is putting heavy investment into acquiring Japanese developers, including hiring the renowned producer Toshihiro Nagoshi, the creator of Super Monkey Ball and Yakuza franchise. Investing in Grounding Inc. is the first time these rumors had concrete evidence.

NetEase has enjoyed great success in Japan with games like Knives Out and Identity V. Knives Out grossed more than $460 million and dominated the Battle Royal market in Japan as early as 2018.

Coincidentally, NetEase’s Japanese themed games like Omnyoji are also topping the grossing charts in China, while earning praises in Japan for its authentic Japanese art style and design, further strengthening the ties between NetEase and the Japanese gaming industry.  

Last year, NetEase established Sakura Studio, a massive development studio that has branches in both China and Japan, aiming to create AAA level console games. However, this clearly doesn’t satisfy the ambition NetEase has. As other Chinese tech giants like Tencent and Bytedance growing their global departments rapidly, it is natural to assume NetEase would keep building its lead in Japan, the third largest video game market in the world.

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