In 2018, an article on the Bloomberg News website named Chinese megacorporation Tencent the biggest video game company in the world. Since then the company has only grown in size. Tencent currently owns Riot Games in full, a 40% share of Epic Games, and a minor stake in Activision-Blizzard, in addition to countless other shares of video game companies world-famous and independent alike. Now Tencent is looking to buy all of Funcom, the developers of Conan Exiles, Mutant Year Zero and other titles.
Currently, Tencent owns around 29% of the company, and is looking to transition into full ownership through a voluntary cash offer to the company’s other shareholders (which is a type of corporate takeover in which a shareholder will offer to buy all other shares of a company for a price that is generally significantly higher than their market value on the condition that offeror will ultimately gain majority ownership).
Funcom is a Norwegian company traded on the Oslo Stock Exchange, and Tencent is offering other stakeholders 17 Norweigan Krone per share. This is 27.3% more than the price at which an individual share was valued on January 21st.
Rui Casais, the CEO of FunCom, expressed enthusiasm at the prospect of Tencent’s full ownership. He described their relationship with Tencent—whose 29% stake in the company is already the largest of all its shareholders—as an opportunity to bring their games to a much larger audience. He also credits Tencent’s pool of industry knowledge, implicit in the the megacorporation’s massive size, as an advantage that will be provided to FunCom following the Tencent takeover. FunCom is currently developing an MMO survival game based on Frank Herbert’s sci-fi classic Dune, and has just announced its intention to expand the scope and ambition of the upcoming title in conjunction with its new majority ownership.
Tencent does not plan to alter the established company structure at FunCom, and will allow the company to remain independent during its ownership. Support for its existing catalog of online games, which also includes Age of Conan and Anarchy Online, will also be maintained. Since Tencent became the largest owner of FunCom shares in October 2019, Casais has noted a level of professionalism and responsibility that he believes will continue as Tencent’s investment in the company grows.
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