Earlier today, Funcom announced via their website that Chinese tech conglomerate Tencent has purchased a large number of shares of their indie publishing and development studio. Tencent, which now holds a 29% stake in the company, has become the majority shareholder of the studio. Funcom is known for the development of games such as Conan Exiles and Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden.
Funcom recently announced its involvement in the DUNE franchise as well, partnering with Legendary Entertainment on a six-year contract. The duo is expected to crank out at least three DUNE titles in that time. “The company is already working on 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 in December 2020 directed by Denis Villeneuve.”
Tencent has purchased all of their shares in Funcom from KGJ Capital AS of Norway, the previous majority shareholder of the studio. In addition to their recent buy-in to Funcom, the company has been fairly active this year already. Just in this year alone, Tencent has partnered with multiple companies such as Razer, The Pokemon Company, Riot, and Nintendo on a variety of different projects. According to the post, Tencent “is a shareholder in many of the world’s leading gaming companies such as Riot Games, Epic, Supercell, Ubisoft, Paradox, Frontier and Miniclip.” A partnership with Tencent usually means good things for their chosen companion, and Funcom hopes to cash in on a bit of that prosperity.
According to Funcom CEO Rui Casais, the studio is happy with the purchase. “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.” Casais goes on to say that he welcomes the “insight, experience, and knowledge” that Tencent can bring to their studio and looks forward to working with them.