Don’t panic, but Tencent just bought 29% of Funcom

    
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Whether you follow Funcom for its old-school MMORPGs like Anarchy Online and Secret World Legends, its survival sandbox Conan Exiles, or its up coming Dune franchise titles, you’ll be intrigued to know that Funcom and Tencent announced this morning that the Chinese company has acquired 29% of the Norwegian studio’s stock shares.

“Tencent, a leading Internet company with a strong online games operation, entered into a share purchase agreement to acquire 29% of the shares in Funcom, the independent developer and publisher of games such as Conan Exiles, The Secret World, and Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden. The acquisition makes Tencent the largest shareholder in Funcom. Funcom is listed as Funcom SE on the Oslo Stock Exchange (OSE: Funcom). Tencent has agreed to acquire all shares belonging to the Norway-based KGJ Capital AS, which is currently the largest shareholder in Funcom.”

“Tencent has a reputation for being a responsible long-term investor, and for its renowned operational capabilities in online games,” Funcom CEO Rui Casais says in the announcement. “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.”

Notably, the PR does mention the DUNE IP multiple times and suggests that the first game, the open-world sandbox, is “working closely with Legendary Entertainment who will be releasing a new DUNE feature film in December 2020 directed by Denis Villeneuve.”

Tencent, of course, is well known for its stake in multiple other studios we cover ’round here, including Grinding Gear, Riot, Frontier, and Epic.

Source: Press release

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Mia DeSanzo

I love a title that starts with “Don’t panic.”

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Castagere Shaikura

Man, I hope someone steps in and says what the hell are you people doing.

Yangers
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Kickstarter Donor
Yangers

The day I panic about Funcom is the day Jesus will return.

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Kickstarter Donor
Greaterdivinity

This is huge for Funcom. They’ve gone from poor performance that led to questions of if they had a future to getting investment from one of the biggest players in the scene.

And as potentially concerning as Tencent getting their tendrils into everything is, I’m not opposed to this. They seem to largely be good investment partners – companies they own like Riot haven’t had any issues that go back to them (Riot’s issues are purely internal), and those that have large minority stakes in similarly seem to be operating without interference from them. Hopefully this is a nice cash injection that’ll let Funcom start stepping up the quality of their games.

Mewmew
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Mewmew

Doesn’t Tencent own 29% of like everything?

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Rodrigo Dias Costa

This. That actually means Funcom has something worth investing into, since Tencent mostly invests only on leading, promising or really lucrative developers.

Yangers
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Kickstarter Donor
Yangers

This is Funcoms biggest scam / con yet.

It’s sort of impressive really.

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Bruno Brito

Or maybe Tencent saw potential. If they can steer FC’s ship into actually working on their MMOs, they may see something decent out of it.

The problem itself is Funcom. But if they feel the ungodly ammount of money going on their bucket, together with the Chinese Overlords breathing heavily on their necks for results, it may actually bring something good for the games.

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Hikari Kenzaki

This is pretty on point. Funcom makes great games. They just don’t know what to DO with them once they’re made.

Their marketing has always been “Oh, we released this thing three days ago. Thought you should know.” Especially on MMOs. You still have to scour the SWL patch notes if you want to know if they released any new cosmetics.

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Bruno Brito

They make great STORIES. I don’t know about games. TSW for all it’s incredible questlines and lore, was gameplay wise weak, which could be fixed, instead of that revamp i won’t name.

AoC is great, and even has decent combat, but it’s a bit convoluted, the 5 sides attack is a bit too much.

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Bruno Brito

They own 29% of reality.

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rafael12104

Ok. So while sitting here in my cheap armchair, I think it’s ok to make a few comments and assumptions based on speculation. Why the hell not, right?

First, beauty of a move by Tencent.

Why? Heh, it puts them in a perfect position to make money off of Funcom or just buy the company outright later.

Should Funcom succeed in the coming years, Tencent could increase their position and continue to make bank as a shareholder.

Should Funcom fall on hard times, Tencent can easily swoop in and buy a controlling interest. Hell, they may even look like the heroes of the story.

And of course, the more they diversify their money, the less the Chinese government can get to it.

gg, bois!

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Armsman

Why would I panic? 29% of nothing is still nothing. ;)

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Hikari Kenzaki

Tencent actually does a fair job of giving studios the access they need. They don’t typically go out of their way to meddle. They’re a very large money company. That’s what they do. Spend and make money.

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Bryan Correll

I don’t see how Tencent’s involvement could make things worse given Funcom’s managerial track record.

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Koshelkin

Closure of AO,AoC and TSW/SWL inc.

Pepperzine
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Pepperzine

That makes no sense. Why would tencent buy stock (not even a majority proportion) and want the services they bought into to shut down.