Chinese Firm Tencent to Become Major Shareholder in Funcom

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by Badger Nimahson

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 ExilesThe 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.

For more than a decade, Funcom has successfully launched major multiplayer titles including Anarchy Online, Age of Conan, The Secret World, and most recently Conan Exiles. Both 2017 and 2018 were the most profitable years in Funcom’s history.

Funcom announced recently that the company has acquired the exclusive rights to develop and publish PC and console games based on the DUNE IP for the next six years. 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.

“We are very pleased to see Tencent come in as the largest shareholder of Funcom,” says Funcom CEO Rui Casais. “Tencent has a reputation for being a responsible long-term investor, and for its renowned operational capabilities in online games.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.”

Who is Tencent?

Tencent is the world’s largest gaming company, one of the world’s most valuable technology companies, one of the world’s largest social media companies, and one of the world’s largest venture capital firms and investment corporations. Its many services include social network, music, web portals, e-commerce, mobile games, internet services, payment systems, smartphones, and multiplayer online games, which are all among the world’s biggest and most successful in their respective categories.

Tencent was estimated to have global revenue of 312.7 billion CNY in 2018.

In 2011, Tencent started hosting massively multiplayer online games such as Call of Duty Online, consisting of previous Call of Duty titles with added content, as well as the game League of Legends, which now it fully owns. Tencent also partly own battle royale games such as Fortnite and PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, and fully own Ring of Elysium.

Tencent is a shareholder in many of the world’s leading gaming companies such as Riot Games, Epic, Supercell, Ubisoft, Paradox, Frontier and Miniclip.