Dragon's Dogma producer Hiroyuki Kobayashi has left Capcom and joined NetEase Games
Hiroyuki Kobayashi, the producer of Dragon's Dogma, announced that he had left Capcom at the end of March 2022 and moved to NetEase Games. He made the announcement on his 50th birthday on his personal Twitter account.
Kobayashi was the producer of the original Dragon's Dogma release for the PS3 and Xbox 360 in 2012. While Minae Matsukawa took up the spot for the enhanced Dragon's Dogma Dark Arisen, Kobayashi was still involved as an executive producer.
Outside of Dragon's Dogma, Hiroyuki Kobayashi was also known for producing a lot of Capcom's action games, such as Devil May Cry, Sengoku Basara, Dino Crisis, and killer7. He also had a long history with the Resident Evil series, where he worked as a programmer for the first Resident Evil game as his debut stint in the company, and he was involved with the series until Resident Evil 6.
Today, Aug. 12th, is my 50th birthday.
As such, I would like to share something very special with everyone:
After serving 27 years with gratitude, I have departed from Capcom on March 31st, 2022, and will be officially joining NetEase Games as a producer.
Detail 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.
As a side note, the English message mentioned him joining NetEase with the future tense, but his original Japanese message specified that in the present tense. ("I am now doing my best as a producer at NetEase Games.")
NetEase Games has been on a headhunting spree as they recruit renowned Japanese game creators and aim to produce their own console games. One of the major names they managed to snag is Toshihiro Nagoshi, who left Sega and Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio in October 2021 to set up a new subsidiary company named Nagoshi Studio. Neither NetEase nor Hiroyuki Kobayashi has clarified the latter's position in the company or whether he will be working directly with Nagoshi or not.
Even though Hiroyuki Kobayashi is no longer affiliated with Capcom, the Dragon's Dogma series is still in good hands. The first game's director Hideaki Itsuno is still working in the company. And as the series is celebrating its 10th anniversary, Itsuno appeared near the end of the celebration stream in mid-June 2022 (by which time Kobayashi is no longer there) to reveal Dragon's Dogma II. While the full-fledged sequel will be made with RE Engine, Capcom has yet to announce its release window and platforms.