NetEase Games has launched Anici, a new anime brand as part of Nici Co, Ltd, reports animenewsnetwork.com. The reveal came at this year’s AnimeJapan exhibition.
NetEase established Nici in 2020 with the aim of supporting the anime industry, developing a range of animation with various partners, and since then the company has worked on a variety of titles including Cells at Work! CODE BLACK, Shinobi No Ottoki, and Yurei Deco. These anime are now listed on Anici’s website, indicating that the company is taking production and distribution responsibilities for these properties, alongside a slate of upcoming releases such as Otaku Elf, TENGOKU DAIMAKYO, and Kizuna no Allele.
NetEase has been taking steps to expand its revenue streams by making moves outside of mobile gaming for some time, as well as seeking expansion outside of China. Japan has been a prime target for these moves, with the company founding Nagoshi Studio in 2022 and funding developer Studio Flare in January.
Through Nici, the company has worked on a variety of anime based on established Japanese IP’s, such as Sakugan Labyrinth Marker and High Card.
Are game adaptations on the cards?
Their website does state that Anici has a games division, which could indicate that some of the anime produced by Anici could see adaptations, and vice versa. With the recent success of game adaptations such as The Last of Us and Detective Pikachu, as well as upcoming adaptations of games such as Ghost of Tsushima and Horizon Zero Dawn, there’s certainly an appetite for films and series’ based on video games, and as one of the biggest mobile game makers in the world NetEase is arguably among the best-poised to adapt mobile games into anime, or translate successful anime into mobile games.
Despite being the spiritual home of gaming, and home to some of the world’s largest developers and console manufacturers, Japanese consumers have been slow to adapt to mobile gaming technology. Adapting popular IP’s into games, or translating the success of games into the anime space, could potentially see NetEase leading the charge and raise mobile gaming’s profile in the country.
We listed NetEase as the top mobile game maker of 2022.