Chinese tech company Tencent has purchased British game developer Sumo Digital and its subsidiary studios for roughly $1.3 billion. Sumo Digital is most known for its work on Sackboy: A Big Adventure and its contributions to the Forza franchise. Its most recent release was Hood: Outlaws & Legends, a PvPvE game based around the legend of Robin Hood, which has mixed reviews as of this writing.
Similar to its other studio purchases, Tencent will be taking a hands-off approach to the management, leaving the previous management in control of day-to-day operations. Sumo’s management consists of founders Carl Cavers, Darren Mills, and Paul Porter. Cavers founded the company back in 2003, which now owns 10 total studios worldwide, according to its website. Cavers said that “the opportunity to work with Tencent is one we just couldn’t miss,” when asked by Reuters for the reasoning for accepting the major offer.
Non-executive chairman Ian Livingstone, who sits on Sumo’s board of directors, said, “the Board of Sumo firmly believes the business will benefit from Tencent’s broad videogaming eco-system, proven industry expertise and its strategic resources.”
With 8.75% ownership of Sumo Digital, Tencent adds to its portfolio of high-profile game companies, including League of Legends developer Riot Games and Call of Duty Mobile developer TiMi Studios. The company also has stakes in other major game companies like Epic Games, of which Tencent owns 40%.
Recent reports indicate that Tencent is attempting to purchase Crytek, the developer of the Crysis series. If completed, those in the company believe that the Chinese conglomerate would use its non-commercial assets rather than focusing on games to gain information about western militaries.
While many don’t know what the endgame of Tencent is, its ties to the Chinese Communist Party worry the U.S government that it is using game companies to harvest data from players. Nevertheless, Tencent’s name is becoming more and more known to U.S audiences with each passing year.
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