NetEase acquires Minecraft co-developer SkyBox Labs

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Chinese tech giant NetEase’s gaming division NetEase Games announced that it has acquired Canadian video game company SkyBox Labs, co-developer of many hit titles such as Minecraft, Halo Infinite and Fallout 76. The duo didn’t disclose the financial details of the acquisition.

Founded in January 2011 by Derek MacNeil, Shyang Kong and Steven Silvester, the Burnaby-based studio has previously teamed up with several leading names in the gaming industry including Electronic Arts, Xbox Game Studios and Wizards of the Coast.

Following the acquisition, Skybox Labs will continue its operations under the leadership of its founders, ‘’working closely with existing and new partners to pursue creative opportunities and co-develop titles in the PC and console space’’, NetEase said in a statement, adding that it will provide the studio with resources and execution capabilities.

We are thrilled to welcome SkyBox Labs to the NetEase Games family and are committed to creating an environment that allows them to thrive and operate independently as a game studio,’’ said Simon Zhu, president of global investment and partnerships at NetEase Games. ‘’We look forward to working with the SkyBox Labs co-founders and providing the resources needed to help them grow their presence in Canada as they continue to support top creators around the world in developing unforgettable gaming experiences for players,” he added.

Skybox Labs’ co-founder Shyang Kong commented: ‘’We remain committed to growing our presence in Canada, supporting our current and future partners, and co-developing more AAA games for some of the biggest game studios around the world. We have built a team of talented individuals who are passionate and creative, and by joining NetEase Games, we will also be able to accelerate our plans to pursue new creative opportunities, and enjoy access to world-class operational resources and the full breadth and depth of NetEase’s services so we can scale faster in Canada.

NetEase added that it will continue to grow its footprint in Canada by retaining staff and employing new ones.

Tencent, one of NetEase’s key competitors, also recently acquired a 20% stake in South Korean video game developer Shift Up.

Written by Tuna Cetin

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