Former Marvelous executive vice president Toshinori Aoki and former BlazBlue series producer Toshimichi Mori have established Studio Flare in Tokyo with funding from NetEase, reports Gematsu.
Aoki will assume the role of president and CEO, while Mori will serve as executive vice president and development producer. The studio will focus on the development of console titles.
“Having been in the game industry for many years, I really feel that rather than making games, we create “characters” and “worldviews” and share them with users in the game format,” said Aoki on the company’s website.
“At Studio Flare, we would like to continue to take on challenges, believing that the slightly edgy and supremely interesting characters and worldviews of Japanese culture that we create will surely be accepted by all users.”
“Ever since I started making games, I have been asking myself, “What is game making?”” said Mori. “Games are both passive and active, and we believe that they are a special genre that can only be established through bargaining between users and developers. That is why I have always pursued the answers to “for whom?” and “for what?”
However, as a creator, as one of the expressive people, I want to “feel emotion”, “feel joy”, “feel sadness”, “feel surprise” and “appeal to various emotions”. And there is only one wish.I want you to feel “interesting”.”
Blazing a new trail?
NetEase’s backing is the latest sign that the gaming giant is diversifying away from its mobile focus and exploring new revenue streams. The company last year acquired French developer Quantic Dream, best known for AAA titles such as Detroit: Become Human and Heavy Rain.
Japan remains the spiritual home of video gaming, being home to some of the world’s top studios such as Square Enix, Gamefreak, and Capcom. The country is also home to console creators such as Sony and Nintendo. However, Japan has been slow to adopt mobile gaming. As such, while financing the creation of a console-focused studio may stand in contrast to NetEase’s traditional model, it falls in line with Japan’s games space.
We listed NetEase as the top mobile game maker of 2022.