In a busy 12 months for gaming mergers, one other deal has simply been introduced. Tencent is to completely purchase Sumo Group, the UK developer behind LittleBigPlanet Three and Crackdown 3. The Chinese internet large is providing 513 pence per share for the studio, wherein it already owns an 8.75 p.c stake, valuing it at $1.26 billion (£990 million).
The acquisition brings one other main developer into the Tencent fold. Already the world’s largest gaming firm, Tencent owns League of Legends studio Riot Games, and has a monetary stake in a number of publishers together with Epic Games, Activision Blizzard, Ubisoft, Bluehole, Paradox Interactive, Supercell, Grinding Gear Games and Yager, together with chat platform Discord. In February, the corporate acquired a minority place in DayZ developer Bohemia Interactive.
But, Tencent’s dominance has triggered regulatory pushback at residence and overseas. Earlier this month, Chinese authorities blocked its plan to merge its two sport livestreaming websites, Douyu and Huya. Tencent can be negiotiating an settlement with a US nationwide safety panel that will enable it to retain its stakes in US firms Riot Games and Epic Games, in accordance with a number of reviews.
The Sumo acquisition fingers Tencent a mixture of AAA and indie content material. Alongside LittleBigPlanet Three and spinoff Sackboy, each revealed by Sony, Sumo was additionally behind Hitman 2. It additionally owns UK-based indie developer The Chinese Room (Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture) and Red Kite Games, greatest recognized for ports of video games like Two Point Hospital. In February, the studio bought Poland’s PixelAnt Games for £250,000.
“The business will benefit from Tencent’s broad videogaming ecosystem, proven industry expertise and its strategic resources, which will help secure and further the aspirations and long-term success of Sumo,” Ian Livingstone, non-executive chairman of Sumo, stated in an announcement.
Between Microsoft’s acquisition of ZeniMax and EA’s deal for Codemasters, 2021 is already turning out to be a blockbuster 12 months for online game consolidation. Other sizzling offers embody Epic Games acquisition of Fall Guys studio Mediatonic, Sony’s buy of Returnal developer Housmarque and Facebook’s takeover of BigBox VR by its Oculus arm.
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