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NetEase has acquired a minority stake in the independent game studio Jumpship, which was started by game maker Dino Patti and film animator Chris Olsen.

Patti is the former CEO of Playdead, creator of the hit games Limbo and Inside. Jumpship hasn’t revealed much about Somerville, its game, except through the two trailers embedded in this story. But apparently that and Patti’s track record with his previous games were enough to convince China’s NetEase to come on board with an investment.

“For me NetEase seems like a perfect match,” Patti said in a statement. “It’s been natural for us to focus on Europe and North America, so we’re excited to get a very strong partner in China. It goes without saying that we keep our full independence and that we are now looking for additional talent to join the team.”

Jumpship was officially incorporated early 2017 and it is based in Guildford, England, where there are many United Kingdom game development studios. The company currently employs six full-time staff and plans to double in size over the next year.


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“I’ve been delighted with the early, behind closed doors feedback and we’re exploring the potential of that vision,” Olsen said. “It’s crucial to me that we’re creating something that helps expand the definition of games and draws people in from outside the medium. We’re looking forward to collaborating with people who share these fundamental ambitions.”

I interviewed Patti and Olsen last year at the Gamelab 2017 event in Barcelona. They said that Olsen hid out in his room for years and made the basic structure of the game. He showed what he had to Patti.

Patti liked the look of it, but he thought Olsen and his idea would get “shredded” as he tried to raise money for the game and create his own studio. So Patti and Olsen formed a studio together, and they’re in the midst of hiring a team to make the game.

Asked why he went with NetEase, Patti said in an email, “NetEase just got it. They talked a lot about quality and are were very understanding of my obsession about being independent.”

As for the teasers, Patti said, “As for the teasers we’ve put out. It’s been to early for us to show anything, so we put just enough out there to be noticed by other developers, so we have been positively surprised by the general excitement we’ve received. In general, I enjoy not being put in a ‘genre box.’ Games are meant to be played, and any text explanation of such is never going to do it justice.”

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