Funcom have announced that Tencent will soon become the largest shareholder in the company.
The news comes via a press release from Funcom. Chinese tech-giant Tencent will soon own 29% in shares of the Norway independent developer and publisher. This is via Tencent agreeing to acquiring all shares belonging to KGJ Capital AS- which is currently the largest shareholder in Funcom.
Funcom has been involved with Anarchy Online, Age of Conan, Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden, The Secret World, and Conan Exiles. The press release makes mention that the company was profitable in 2017 and 2018.
Tencent’s involvement also indicates Funcom may be looking at more online projects, as Funcom CEO Rui Casais focused on Tencent’s reputation for online games:
“We are very pleased to see Tencent come in as the largest shareholder of Funcom. Tencent has a reputation for being a responsible long-term investor, and for its renowned operational capabilities in online games. The insight, experience, and knowledge that Tencent will bring is of great value to us and we look forward to working closely with them as we continue to develop great games and build a successful future for Funcom.”
Funcom also recently acquired the Dune IP, and is set to create “an open world sandbox game set in the DUNE universe and is working closely with Legendary Entertainment who will be releasing a
new DUNE feature film.”
Tencent meanwhile have been open to games and brands from outside of Chinia- excluding Riot Game’s League of Legends. This includes developing a Pokemon game, and opening the door for Nintendo to distribute in the region.
Tencent also released it’s Steam competitor WeGame in the west. While its launch may have been overshadowed by the Epic Games Store, Tencent should not be too worried, as they own 40% of Epic Games. Not bad for the company that lost $20 billion in 2018. Looking at the financial data at this time of writing, the company had an all-time peak at the start of 2018 before falling in October of that year. So far in 2019 they have climbed out of that rut with ups and downs.