Chinese game company NetEase has announced the establishment of an office in North America, which will focus on building mobile games for Western audiences. The company already has experience with major franchises, as the publisher of World of Warcraft, Hearthstone and Cookie Jam in China, and will use this expertise to build new titles for Western gamers “from the ground up.”
Led by industry veteran David Ting, the office in Redwood Shores, California has announced its first mobile title, with multiple games planned for release in North America and Europe by the end of 2015.
Its first planned release, Speedy Ninja (working title) will be an adaptation of one of the company’s already successful Chinese games, but revamped for new players. The game is described as a twist on the endless runner genre, with a calligraphy art style and competitive and strategy game features.
In Speedy Ninja, players will work to climb the game’s leaderboards by completing daily missions. The game is the sequel to Ninja Must Die by Pandada Studio, and is expected to launch this summer.
In a statement, David Ting, GM of NetEase North America, commented on the expansion:
With a $15 billion USD market cap, NetEase has a strong foundation of successes in Asian markets made possible by a wealth of design and engineering talent. We’re diligently working to bring culturalized versions of these high quality experiences to gamers all over the world. We’ve assembled a group of talented professionals whose passion is making games, and our focus is on fostering an environment with creative freedom. We are building the games we want to play and are excited to launch them into global markets.
More information on the new studio is available here.