In brief: Tencent is continuing to invest heavily in the video game industry after the company announced its intention to fully acquire Norwegian developer Funcom.
Funcom, which is behind multiplayer survival game Conan Exiles and the upcoming open-world Dune game, is already partly owned by Tencent. The Chinese giant acquired 29 percent of its stock in September last year, making it the largest shareholder. Now, it wants to acquire the rest of Funcom's shares.
"We have had a great relationship with Tencent as our largest shareholder so far and we are excited about this opportunity," said Funcom CEO Rui Casais in a statement. "Tencent will provide Funcom with operational leverage and insights from its vast knowledge as the leading company in the game space."
As reported by Gamesindustry.biz, Tencent’s offer of 17 Norwegian Krone per share is 27.3 percent higher than the price at the close of trading on January 21, 2020. It values Funcom at $148 million.
Tencent recently added Bayonetta and Nier: Automata developer PlatinumGames to its investment list, though it wasn’t revealed how much it paid. The company fully acquired League of Legends developer Riot Games back in December 2015 and owns 40 percent of Epic Games (Fortnite). It also has 5 percent stakes in Blizzard and Ubisoft, along with an 11.5 percent share of PUBG’s Bluehole.
Tencent says it intends to make the offer in February. In the case of a full acquisition, it says there will be no staff changes, and Funcom will remain an independent company.
"We are impressed by Funcom’s strengths as a developer of open-world multiplayer, action and survival games," said Tencent Senior Vice President Steven Ma. "We are glad to deepen our relationship with Funcom and look forward to collaborating with Funcom to deliver more exciting and enjoyable game experiences to fans worldwide.”