NetEase hires Watch Dogs lead for new Montreal studio
Watch Dogs 1 and 2 creative director Jonathan Morin will create a new IP
NetEase has announced the hiring of Watch Dogs lead Jonathan Morin at its Montreal studio.
Morin, who was previously creative director on the first two Watch Dogs games at Ubisoft, is set to be creative director for a new IP at his new employer.
Morin said in a statement: “I am excited to announce my new adventure as Creative Director at NetEase Games Montreal. I am privileged to join a passionate and talented new team to create our own IP. This is the beginning of something special for me and I cannot wait to say more…”
NetEase Montreal was formed in 2019, as part of the Chinese tech company’s push into the console games space. So far, the studio has handled publishing for 24 Entertainment’s Naraka: Bladepoint.
Previously, the Montreal studio hired veteran Assassin’s Creed and Far Cry producer Emile Liang as lead producer.
In Japan, last month Capcom veteran Hiroyuki Kobayashi, who began his career as a programmer on the original Resident Evil before going on to produce the Dino Crisis series, revealed that he had left Capcom to join NetEase.
And last year, the company – the second largest games company in China behind Tencent – also acquired No More Heroes developer Grasshopper Manufacture.
Yakuza creator Toshihiro Nagoshi also joined the company, founding Nagoshi Studio. The studio is a “wholly-owned subsidiary” of NetEase Games and will focus on developing “high-end titles for worldwide release”, primarily on consoles.
In Europe, NetEase has agreed to acquire Quantic Dream for an undisclosed sum. According to the company, the Paris-based studio behind such narrative games as Heavy Rain, Detroit: Become Human and Beyond: Two Souls will continue to operate independently after the deal.