What just happened? It’s a case of another day, another massive video game studio acquisition. The company being purchased this time is French developer Quantic Dream, maker of ‘interactive storytelling’ titles such as Heavy Rain and Detroit: Become Human, as well as an upcoming Star Wars game. It’s being bought by Chinese tech giant NetEase, which has been expanding rapidly into overseas markets in recent times.
NetEase already owned a minority stake in Quantic Dream following an acquisition in 2019. The companies at the time said they were entering into a partnership that would assist the game maker’s creative vision.
NetEase didn’t reveal how much it paid to fully acquire Quantic Dream. The Paris-based studio is now the first in Europe to be wholly owned by the Hangzhou-headquartered firm.
Both NetEase and Tencent have been increasing their international expansion efforts recently as China’s regulators clamp down on the country’s video game industry. Neither firm has been handed any licenses for their mobile or PC games in 2022, contributing to Tencent’s first-ever revenue drop and giving it the unwanted title of ‘company that has lost most value this year.’
NetEase opened a gaming studio in Japan in January that focuses on developing console games. It follows the 2020 opening of Sakura Studio, another console-focused developer, in the county.
NetEase’s first fully-owned gaming studio in the US arrived in May. Austin, Texas-based Jackalope Games is creating both PC and console titles.
This year has seen the consolidation of many massive developers and publishers within the video games industry: Microsoft’s $68.7 billion purchase of Activision Blizzard, Sony’s $3.6 billion buyout of Bungie, and the many acquisitions of Embracer Group. There were also rumors last week that Amazon was about to acquire EA, but it hasn’t happened, yet.
Quantic Dream is working on a new Star Wars title, Eclipse, which it describes as an intricately branching action-adventure game. That makes it sound very different from Quantic Dream’s usual narrative-driven titles, though the website does mention the company’s beloved choice-and-consequence mechanic.