Ni Ning, director of Chinese online game developer and operator Netease's (Nasdaq: NTES) self-developed 3D turn-based MMORPG Westward Journey: Genesis (Chuangshi Xiyou), recently resigned and has been replaced by Tian Luo, deputy GM of Netease's gaming division and former director of another self-developed 3D MMORPG from Netease, Tianxia II. While Ni's next destination is unknown, his departure follows that of Westward Journey: Genesis's chief designer Shen Yang. Netease has issued a statement saying that certain problems were found following open beta testing of the game, problems which required someone with greater product development experience to take over. Ni and Shen both arrived at Netease in 2003. Netease spent more than five years in actual R&D of "Genesis," more time than was needed for projects such as Tianxia and self-developed 2.5D MMORPG Ghost.
In 2009 Gu Yuntao, then chief designer and director of Genesis, left Netease in the midst of first-phase testing of the game to launch his own start-up, as did Ye Hang, former chief designer of Tianxia. Ye left Netease in 2008 to to establish his own company, Guangzhou-based online game developer and operator MMO Interactive Entertainment, which went on to release 3D turn-based MMORPG Liao Ge Zhai. In 2010, Wei Jianhong, former product manager for Netease MMORPG Westward Journey Online II and deputy GM of Netease's gaming division, resigned and launched a new company, Guangzhou-based online game developer and operator Qingtianzhu Network, which later released its self-developed turn-based 2D MMORPG Fengshen.