Tencent wants to buy yet another game studio, places bid for Funcom

Chinese gaming conglomerate Tencent is looking to buy yet another game studio, and this time, it’s set its sights on Conan Exiles developer Funcom.

At the moment, Tencent already owns a hefty portion of Funcom, holding 29% of its stock which was acquired in September of 2019 according to GamesIndustry.biz. Since then, it appears that they’ve been eyeing a bigger slice of the pie — and by “bigger slice,” I mean “the entire pie.”

Tencent Funcom Conan Exiles body

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The Chinese company is offering to pay NOK 17 (≈$1.89) per share, a 27.3% premium on the stock’s price as of the close of trading on January 21, 2020. Put it all together, and it’s effectively valuing Funcom at NOK 1.33 billion (≈$148 million).

Funcom management, for their part, seems quite keen to accept this offer.

“We have had a great relationship with Tencent as our largest shareholder so far and we are excited about this opportunity,” Funcom’s CEO Rui Casais said in a statement. “Tencent will provide Funcom with operational leverage and insights from its vast knowledge as the leading company in the game space.”

Tencent, meanwhile, seems particularly impressed with Funcom’s ability to make long-lasting games like Conan Exiles. The fantasy role-playing game has been in full release for one and a half years and appears to be performing well for the company.

Aside from their work on keeping Conan Exiles fresh with content, Funcom is also currently working on a game based on the Dune franchise. Presumably, the revenue from this sale would be directed towards making this project truly representative of the scale of this massive universe.

This deal, however, is not quite final. The remaining 71% of shareholders have to actually accept the offer to purchase their shares, although it’s a little difficult to see why they wouldn’t. Funcom had some pretty bad financial problems before the success of Conan Exiles, and it may be a long time before another such opportunity to turn a tidy profit appears again — if it ever appears at all.

This isn’t the only big investment that the Chinese gaming conglomerate has made lately. Recently, it purchased a portion of Platinum Games, allowing the Japanese developer with a flair for high-flying action games to explore self-publishing.