As the Chinese technology giant continues its aggressive global expansion, NetEase said on Friday (January 6, 2023) that it had bought Canadian gaming studio SkyBox Labs, which is collaborating on a number of high-profile games like Halo Infinite.
The independent SkyBox Labs will function as part of NetEase, the second-largest gaming corporation in China. The two companies did not disclose the financial terms of the deal.
Over the past two years, NetEase has intensified its efforts to expand its gaming business internationally as China’s local industry has stalled due to stricter regulations.
While Tencent, a competitor, has historically been more active in purchasing gaming studios, NetEase is attempting to catch up with a ferocious worldwide push.
Last year, the business acquired French video game studio Quantic Dream, establishing its first studio in Europe that it entirely owned. NetEase has also set up gaming studios in Japan and the U.S.
It has concentrated on making investments in or acquisitions of businesses that have built powerful brands and franchises. SkyBox Labs fits the bill: the Canadian firm has worked with gaming firms including Xbox Game Studios and Electronic Arts.
SkyBox Labs is currently co-developing Halo Infinite and working on projects with Minecraft.
NetEase has already released mobile games based on the Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings franchises.
The company said it will support SkyBox Labs with “resources and execution capabilities so that SkyBox Labs can achieve faster scale while maintaining the quality of work the studio is known for.”
While NetEase has traditionally concentrated on mobile and PC gaming, the company has set its sights on becoming a significant player in console gaming as well, a market SkyBox Labs is big in.
NetEase said SkyBox Labs “will continue to operate independently, working closely with existing and new partners to pursue creative opportunities and co-develop titles in the PC and console space.”