Ryutaro Ichimura is the president and representative director of PinCool. Before Enix merged with Square in 2003, he joined Enix in 2000 and became the chief producer of the Dragon Quest series. Ichimura was the main producer for Dragon Quest VIII and Dragon Quest IX. He has also helped make Dragon Quest anime series, live events, and exhibitions. Ichimura said in a statement on the studio’s website that the name PinCool comes from the Japanese phrase “pin to kuru,” which means “when an idea clicks.”
“As a company that makes entertainment, our main business is designing and making games for consoles, but that’s not all we do,” Ichimura said. “We will use our wide range of experience to do design and production work in the entertainment industry, including mobile games, arcade games, manga, anime, film, toys, theater, and events.
“We have something that you won’t be able to find anywhere else. We want to give people all over the world fun things to do through projects that use the kinds of new ideas that come from being free to be creative. “We also want to put out smaller games while we keep working on bigger ones. Look forward to seeing what happens next in PinCool!
Simon Zhu, the global president of investments and partnerships for NetEast, said in a separate statement, “As a company that is passionate about making immersive gaming experiences, we know how important Ichimura-san was to the development of the Dragon Quest series. “We think that his dedication to quality and making new experiences is one reason why the Dragon Quest series has lasted so long.
“He changed the RPG genre and gave game designers all over the world ideas, so we’re very happy to see him join NetEase Games and start a new journey with PinCool. “We are committed to making NetEase Games a place where Ichimura-san can grow, try out new ideas, and keep making games that gamers will remember forever.” In the past few years, NetEase has been working hard to add more studios all over the world. It said in May that it would open Bad Brain Game Studios in Canada, which would be run by a group of Ubisoft veterans.
Anchor Point Studios, which has offices in Barcelona and Seattle and is run by Control’s lead designer Paul Ehreth, was started the month before. Last year, Hiroyuki Kobayashi, a longtime employee of Capcom who started his career as a programmer on the first Resident Evil and went on to make the Dino Crisis series, said he had left Capcom to work for NetEase. And in 2021, the company, which was the second largest games company in China after Tencent, bought the company that made No More Heroes.
Toshihiro Nagoshi, who made the Yakuza games, also joined the company and started Nagoshi Studio. The studio is a “wholly-owned subsidiary” of NetEase Games and will focus on making “high-end titles for worldwide release,” mostly on consoles. Last year, NetEase also agreed to buy Quantic Dream, a studio in Paris that makes story-based games like Heavy Rain, Detroit: Become Human, and Beyond: Two Souls, for an amount that has not been made public.