Tencent buys stake in Japanese game company behind Elden Ring – Entertainment
Beijing, China ●
Wed 31 Aug 2022
Chinese gaming giant Tencent has bought a minority stake in Japanese game developer FromSoftware, creator of the hit fantasy title Elden Ring, the Tokyo-based company announced on Wednesday.
Tencent, the world’s biggest games publisher by revenue, has had a dismal performance since Beijing imposed a three-hour-a-week limit on children’s play last year in a bid to eradicate addiction.
The number of new video game licenses granted by Chinese regulators lagged behind previous years after a nine-month freeze on title approvals was lifted in April.
“FromSoftware’s unique set of values and personal initiative will not change in the future,” the Japanese company said in a statement announcing the sale of the stake, which was purchased by a subsidiary of Sony along with by Tencent.
“The funding received will help us take an even stronger stance towards investing in in-house game development.”
Tencent hasn’t had a new game title approved for more than a year, with most licenses this year in China going to smaller developers, according to official data.
Beijing has strict content censorship rules for all media, including video games, which have been taken down in the past for including gore, divisive, political and paranormal elements.
Tencent, which is behind China’s biggest mobile games Honor of Kings and PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, recorded its first-ever year-over-year revenue decline this month.
China’s gaming industry has been swept up in a tech regulatory crackdown that has led to record fines, lengthy investigations and the suspension of IPOs.
Tencent, which also operates ubiquitous messaging app WeChat, was fined six million yuan ($870,000) by antitrust regulators in July for anticompetitive behavior.