The board of the British company Sumo Group, whose various studies have worked on everything Hitman to Force to Disney Infinity, has agreed to a purchase by Chinese giant Tencent for a whopping $ 1.3 billion, Reuters report.
The acquisition is just the latest news from Tencent, which in recent years has invested in or taken ownership of other gaming companies such as:
- Riot Games (Tencent owns 100% stake)
- Epic Games (40%)
- Dontnod (23%)
- Activision Blizzard (5%)
- Ubisoft (5%)
- Paradox (5%)
As for smaller investments in companies such as PlatinumGames, Roblox and Bohemia Interactive. And it’s just a selection of some of the most well-known studios and publishers. Tencent also owns the video game site Fanbyte.
Sumo Digital was originally founded in England in 2003, and I am very much fond memories of one of his first releases, 2004 excellent home console port of Outrun 2. Born out of the demise of Infogrames, Sumo’s first success led him to open a second studio in 2007, before opening more and more and then gaining more and more, both in the UK and overseas.
At the time of this proposal from Tencent– which already had an 8% stake in the company – Sumo had five primary studios across England and five other subsidiaries, including the Polish studio PixelAnt, which Sumo only acquired in February.
Coincidentally, just last week The Guardian published a lengthy report on the measure that Chinese companies such as Tencent have been able to exert their influence on the global video game market, from the problems in publishing Paradox games in China to reports of a change in the way League of Legends Riot developers have been able to conceive of their world, being asked to “consider the assumed preferences of the Chinese market when designing characters”.
Last year Tencent was targeted by then-President Donald Trump, who tried (and ultimately failed) to introduce a ban on American companies and customers from dealing with any of the company’s services., from the WeChat messaging service to potentially any of Tencent’s video games as well.
UPDATE 4:32 am – It should be noted that while Tencent has made a $ 1.3 billion offer, Sumo’s board “strongly believes that the business will benefit from Tencent’s broad video game ecosystem, from its experience of industry and its proven strategic resources, ”the deal will not be 100% final unless it receives approval from Sumo’s shareholders. Title has been updated to reflect this.