Tencent acquires Swedish game developer, Sharkmob

Tencent has acquired Swedish game developer, Sharkmob, for an undisclosed sum.

Sharkmob was founded in Malmö in 2017 with the view of designing a workplace “well suited for the ever-changing media landscape, capable of delivering interactive entertainment experiences for the future”. According to a press release announcing the acquisition, the studio will continue with its current unannounced game, whilst also taking on “several new projects” with Tencent.

“We view the future of online gaming the same way and Tencent being a leading internet and games platform gives Sharkmob the reach and resources to be a part of that future. Support from Tencent’s incredible group of game teams will allow us to fully pursue our passion of bringing great gaming experiences to as many players as possible,” said Fredrik Rundqvist, CEO of Sharkmob.

“Sharkmob’s creative and passionate team has a proven track record of developing triple-A titles which involves open world settings and various gameplays,” added Steven Ma, senior vice president of Tencent. “We look forward to more exciting innovation for game-lovers by combining Sharkmob’s development capabilities with Tencent’s technologies and expertise.”

Chinese publisher Tencent announced in February that it had introduced new rules for streamers in a bid to appease China’s strict new internet legislation. The rules –  which “will be strictly observed by Tencent” – will apply wholesale across “all streaming platforms, productions, institutions, and streamers” if they are using any of Tencent’s numerous products.

Last year Tencent announced it will be restructuring for the first time in six years following increasing challenges dealing with Chinese governmental regulations for the gaming industry. The megacorp was hit with a fall in profits for the first time in 13 years owing to the very same Chinese regulatory issues that have pushed the decision to restructure.

Tencent also announced that it will expand its player identity verification processes across all its games by the end of 2019 after governmental pressure to reduce game addiction, minimise underage players, and curtail short-sightedness. The new legislation has made it increasingly difficult for Tencent – which, by sales, is the world’s biggest game company – to release new titles or include microtransactions or in-app purchases. Its last release was back in March, pushing its share price down by 28 per cent and reducing the company’s market value by $138 billion.

About Vikki Blake

It took 15 years of civil service monotony for Vikki to crack and switch to writing about games. She has since become an experienced reporter and critic working with a number of specialist and mainstream outlets in both the UK and beyond, including Eurogamer, GamesRadar+, IGN, MTV, and Variety.

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