Ex-Capcom Producer Founds New Studio At NetEase

Published: November 1, 2022 9:32 AM /


The office of the new Hiroyuki Kobayashi studio GPTRACK50, depicting a fairly sparse room with a company logo, a door, and a device on a table

Resident Evil and Mega Man producer Hiroyuki Kobayashi has announced his new studio under Chinese gaming giant NetEase. The rather awkwardly-named GPTRACK50 will focus on developing "original entertainment IP" with a global focus.

Kobayashi's departure from longtime employer Capcom was announced back in August this year, but this is the first glimpse we've gotten of what Kobayashi will get up to now that he's at NetEase. According to a press release, GPTRACK50's remit will be to bring together experienced industry professionals from the gaming, movie, and TV industries, creating "quality content for users worldwide".

We don't yet know what Kobayashi and GPTRACK50's first project will be, but it doesn't sound like it'll just be a game. Kobayashi himself says he wants to create "entertainment projects" for NetEase, while the studio claims it wants to "broaden the spectrum" of its work to include movies and entertainment series as well, in addition to "novels and manga adaptations".

Mega Man firing at a giant rock boss in Mega Man 11, which was executive produced by Hiroyuki Kobayashi
Hiroyuki Kobayashi's last game production credit with Capcom was 2018's Mega Man 11.

We'll have to wait and see what Kobayashi's first project with GPTRACK50 and NetEase will be, but one thing's for sure: this isn't an isolated case. Several gaming industry professionals and companies have been acquired by NetEase or jumped ship to the Chinese giant in recent months, including David Cage's Quantic Dream and Suda51's Grasshopper Manufacture, as well as Yakuza creator Toshihiro Nagoshi's new studio Nagoshi Studios.

These acquisitions and moves are set against the backdrop of an industry that some fear is becoming increasingly monopolized by just a handful of companies. Along with NetEase, studios like Tencent, Microsoft, and Sony are making big purchases, leading to concerns that mid-range or smaller studios will find it increasingly difficult to ply their trade.

In the case of NetEase (and Tencent as well), these acquisitions might have a somewhat different character, though. Both NetEase and Tencent are based in China, where the government has been cracking down on the gaming industry in various ways. By investing in studios outside China, it's likely NetEase is looking to feather its nest in case the gaming industry in China becomes untenable from a business perspective.

That might also explain why GPTRACK50's focus will be on worldwide entertainment, where NetEase and Tencent might usually be focused on creating games for the Chinese market (such as the $10 billion behemoth that is Honor of Kings, although that does also have a Western version in Arena of Valor).

Make sure to stay tuned to TechRaptor for news of whatever Kobayashi's first project turns out to be, as well as any other major industry luminaries that jump ship to NetEase.


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