Oslo, Norway-based game developer and publisher Funcom (OSE: Funcom) announced on Monday that Chinese conglomerate Tencent (OTCMKTS: TCEHY) is acquiring 29% of its shares. Once the sale is completed, Tencent will officially become Funcom’s largest shareholder.
Shares are being purchased from Norwegian firm based KGJ Capital AS, currently the largest shareholder.
Funcom is best known for its online multiplayer games, including Anarchy Online, Age of Conan, and The Secret World. According to a statement, both 2017 and 2018 were the most profitable years in the company’s history, with last year featuring the launch of Conan Exiles.
In February, the company announced that it had acquired the exclusive rights to develop and publish PC and consoles games based on the sci-fi franchise Dune for the next six years. Funcom is already developing an open-world game based on the property. It said that it is working closely with Legendary Entertainment, which is currently working on a new Dune film slated for release on December 2020. It is currently unknown how the two projects are related and if the companies are coordinating for the video game to launch around the same time as the film.
“We are very pleased to see Tencent come in as the largest shareholder of Funcom,” Funcom CEO Rui Casais said in a statement. “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.”
Tencent is currently the largest video game company in the world, with revenues that surpass those of Microsoft, Sony, Apple, Activision Blizzard, Nintendo and others. The company has stakes in multiple game companies around the world, including Riot Games (League of Legends), Epic Games (Fortnite), Supercell (Clash Royale), Ubisoft, Paradox Frontier, MiniClip, and more.