NetEase Games has announced the establishment of PinCool, a new game studio headquartered in Tokyo, Japan and led by representative director and president Ryutaro Ichimura, who is best known as a longtime producer on the Dragon Quest franchise.
The studio itself is comprised of industry experts with “extensive experience” in different areas of the interactive entertainment business, including video games, movies, live events, and intellectual property licensing. The studio plans to leverage its diverse knowledge as an entertainment production company to provide high-quality entertainment to users on a global scale. It will mainly focus on developing titles for game consoles, but also be involved in planning and producing various additional forms of entertainment.
Ichimura, who left Square Enix in March after 23 years, served as the lead producer for games such as Dragon Quest VIII: Journey of the Cursed King and Dragon Quest IX: Sentinels of the Starry Skies, and was also involved in the production of anime properties such as Dragon Quest: The Adventure of Dai. He led various other areas of the Dragon Quest intellectual property as well, including live events and exhibitions.
“Creativity to make life more enjoyable’ encapsulates our philosophy,” Ichimura said in a press release. “The company name comes from the Japanese phrase ‘pin to kuru,’ expressing when an idea clicks. The English name ‘PinCool’ is pronounced similarly and is stylized to include the English word ‘cool’ as well. We offer something you won’t find anywhere else. 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. I’m looking forward to what lies in store in the adventure of PinCool!”
NetEase Games global president of investments and partnerships Simon Zhu added, “As a company that is passionate about creating immersive gaming experiences, we recognize the significant role that Ichimura-san played in the development of the Dragon Quest series. We believe that his commitment to quality and to building innovative experiences is one of the reasons why the Dragon Quest franchise has endured for so long. He has shaped the RPG genre and inspired countless game developers around the world so we’re very excited to see him join NetEase Games and begin a new journey with PinCool. We are committed to creating an environment at NetEase Games for Ichimura-san to thrive, explore new ideas, and continue creating unforgettable gaming experiences for game lovers.”
Takashi Ogura will join PinCool as a board member. Ogura was previously involved in the branding, marketing, business development, and business strategy for various online businesses including Doraemon at Epoch, Duffy at Oriental Land, and Dragon Quest: The Adventure of Dai at Square Enix.
Visit the studio’s official website here.