Chinese mega publisher NetEase has been making some major inroads into the Japanese development scene in recent months, poaching a number of high-level developers, including much of Sega’s Yakuza development team and Suda51’s Grasshopper Manufacture. Well, it seems they’ve also set their sights on Capcom, as one of that company’s most prolific veteran producers, Hiroyuki Kobayashi, has announced he’s leaving the Resident Evil publisher to join NetEase.
“Today, August 12th, is my 50th birthday. As such, I would like to share something special with everyone:
After serving 27 years with gratitude, I have departed from Capcom on March 31, 2022, and will be officially joining NetEase Games as a producer. Detailed plans will be shared later, so please stay tuned. I will strive to continuously create more enjoyable entertainment experiences for everyone at this new company, in this new era. Thank you for the continued support.”
For those unfamiliar, Hiroyuki Kobayashi has worked on a majority of games in the Resident Evil series, starting as designer on the earliest titles, before moving onto a producing role. He was also one of the key creative minds behind the Dino Crisis series and has produced entries in the Devil May Cry, Dragon’s Dogma, and Sengoku Basara franchises. In recent years, he’s changed his focus somewhat, primarily overseeing the various Resident Evil CGI movies. Needless to say, Kobayashi’s absence will likely be felt at Capcom and it will be interesting to see what he might come up with at NetEase. As of now, we don’t know what team Kobayashi may be joining at NetEase, or if he’ll be starting a new one of his own.
What kind of games do you hope Kobayashi makes in the future? Will NetEase’s recent talent acquisitions result in some great games or just the squandering of talented creators’ time and effort?