Tencent to acquire Sumo Digital, gets majority stake in Stunlock Studios


Chinese giant Tencent is planning to buy Sackboy developer Sumo Digital for $1.27 billion, planning to let it continue working with other AAA publishers.

In an unprecedented move, Tencent moved towards buying Sumo Digital. The UK-based developer is known for games like Hitman 1 and 2, Crackdown 3, and even Sackboy. Furthermore, the move underscores the Chinese company’s push to buy more studios.

Tencent acquisition good for Sumo, says exec

Tencent has done its best to dip fingers in AAA development for the longest time now. The company is silently buying studios left and right, with their encroachment slowing down during the pandemic. Now, it seems studio will be under their umbrella.

Sumo announced the acquisition, believing that this will benefit them in the long run. Tencent already had an 8.75% stake in the company and was its second-biggest shareholder. Furthermore, the developer has as many as 14 studios across multiple countries.

“The Board of Sumo firmly believes the business will benefit from Tencent’s broad videogaming eco-system, proven industry expertise and its strategic resources,” said Ian Livingstone, non-executive chairman to Sumo.

“Tencent has a strong track record for backing management teams and their existing strategies,” said Sumo founder and exec Carl Cavers. “Alongside the acceleration of Own-IP work, Tencent has demonstrated its commitment to backing our client work and has stated its intention to ensure that we have the necessary investment to continue focusing on work with our key strategic partners on turn-key and co-development projects.

“We love what we do and have some amazing relationships with the world’s best video game publishers. Sumo will continue to work with these clients to break new ground and create even more fantastic games.”

Chinese giant acquires major stake in Stunlock Studios

Tencent is not stopping at acquiring studios. Apart from Sumo Digital, the Chinese giant is also taking a majority stake in Stunlock Studios. Furthermore, the gaming giant now owns a good chunk of the Swedish dev, known for Battlerite Royale.

Much like its other acquisitions, Tencent notes that it will be hands-off with the development strategy of the dev. Founded in Skövde, Stunlock started its partnership in 2016. By 2019, the Chinese giant had minority stake in them.

“It’s an honor to represent the biggest game company in the world from the small town of Skövde, Sweden,” said Rickard Frisegård, Stunlock Studios CEO. “Tencent’s new investment shows a great deal of trust in us delivering quality titles with our focus on gameplay first.”

Tencent is pushing further and further with its acquisitions. In addition to Sumo Digital and Stunlock, the company is likely to encroach deeper in the months to come.

Featured image courtesy of Playstation/Youtube Screenshot

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