NetEase announced yet another investment in the gaming industry. They will open their first Western game development studio in Montréal, Canada, notorious to be one of the major locations for game development in North America.
William Ding, Chief Executive Officer and Director of NetEase, said in a statement:
Global expansion is of great importance to the strategic growth of NetEase's online games business. We have made considerable progress in recent years, and our new Montréal games studio is another significant milestone for our global market ambitions. Known for being a world-leading video game and entertainment content production hub, with rich resources in talent and technologies, Montréal offers clear advantages and favorable conditions to international online games companies such as NetEase. We were warmly welcomed by Montréal International and Investissement Québec, and we are thrilled at this remarkable step which can push us forward on realizing our global objectives.
Hubert Bolduc, President and CEO of Montréal International (an economic promotion agency), stated:
We cordially welcome the arrival of NetEase, the first major game publisher and developer from China to establish an office here, which confirms Greater Montréal's enviable position as a world leader in the video game industry. Since 2015, the Québec video game industry has experienced a phenomenal 42% growth in the number of companies establishing roots or expanding here, with the world's largest video games producers successively choosing the city for its creative, vibrant and artistic culture.
Guy LeBlanc, President and CEO of Investissement Québec (who also helped with the deal), added:
We welcome NetEase to set up a studio in Québec. The opening and establishment of the studio speaks volumes about the strength and talent of the local industrial sector, which represents fertile ground for any company wanting to invest here. We are confident that the arrival of this key player in the video game industry will strengthen Montréal's ecosystem and help boost the economy.
As mentioned earlier, this is but the latest in a long line of investments made by NetEase in the games industry after a strategic investment in Behaviour Interactive, acquiring a minority stake in Quantic Dream, and investing $50 million in Improbable and $100 million in Bungie. NetEase also recently partnered with Marvel to create games, comics and TV shows.