Tencent Seeks Full Ownership of Funcom for $148 million

File this under news that you didn’t expect to see, but also aren’t all that surprised by, Tencent seeks full ownership of Funcom and they’re offering $148 million to make it happen. To do this Tencent is offering all current Funcom shareholders NOK 17.00 per share, which is 27.3% higher than the closing price of Funcom shares on January 21st. The shareholders are free to either accept or reject the offer but Funcom’s management board and supervisory board have unanimously decided to recommend that shareholders DO accept the offer.

The good news for Funcom and its fans is that if the acquisition goes through it will happen much like Tencent’s other acquisitions have, very hands-off. The management, staff, structure, and the company itself will remain as they are. This means that all the games and everything you know and love about Funcom will be staying exactly the same. Tencent has actually been a majority stakeholder in the company since October 2019.

Talking about the deal Funcom CEO Rui Casais had this to say, “We have had a great relationship with Tencent as our largest shareholder so far and we are excited about this opportunity. We will continue to develop great games that people all over the world will play, and we believe that the support of Tencent will take Funcom to the next level. Tencent will provide Funcom with operational leverage and insights from its vast knowledge as the leading company in the game space.”

Senior Vice President of Tencent Steven Ma commented, “We are impressed by Funcom’s strengths as a developer of open-world multiplayer, action and survival games. Funcom has a strong track-record in developing new titles with long life span. We are glad to deepen our relationship with Funcom and look forward to collaborating with Funcom to deliver more exciting and enjoyable game experiences to fans worldwide.”

In connection with this offer, which from the sounds of it Funcom really wants to see happen, they have announced a few changes they hope to make to the games they’re working on. This includes expanding the scope of the upcoming Dune game. To its investors, the management board of Funcom had this to say, “The Management Board is of the opinion that these factors justify a more ambitious Dune project to launch after around two years of production time. Such increased focus would require a redirection of resources from other initiatives, the most significant being the co-op shooter game, initially scheduled for release during 2020 that has been impacted by scope changes due to external/market pressures with increasingly strong competition and internal delays. The Management Board believes that the scope and ambition level for the Dune game should be larger than Conan Exiles to allow the game the best possible chance of maximizing its very large potential. If these proposed changes are approved by the Supervisory Board, it is likely that the Company will need additional financing to supplement the revenue generated from current operations.”

This will result in the delay of this co-op shooter game until after the release of the Dune game. Just last week they announced that the horror game Moons of Madness would be delayed until March 24th.

 

Source: Press Release

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Twitch Bought Bebo

Most of us remember Bebo as that other social media platform you were on besides Myspace and Facebook, back in the days before Twitter. It turns out they’re still kicking, much to everyone in this office’s surprise when we saw the news that Twitch bought Bebo.

What interest does Twitch have in a third rate social media platform? None at all actually. Bebo stopped being about social media after bankruptcy and has shifted its focus to being a High School esports company. After the bankruptcy, they rebranded to be a streaming service provider similar to Xsplit, but for esports and they currently, host a High School Fortnite league.

So it is really no wonder, now that you know all the details why Twitch took an interest in Bebo. The acquisition reported cost under $25 million and Discord was also bidding on the company. Based on Linkedin profiles of ex-Bebo employees it looks like all of this took place sometime this month. You can see the former CEO of Bebo now lists his job as Senior Director of Product, Esports at Twitch. With the acquisition Twitch picked up the 10 person staff that make up Bebo as well as the IP of Bebo, the social network company turned esports streaming company.

So, what is next for Bebo’s team and the Bebo platform? Only time will tell for sure, but right now it looks like they’re going to be working together on Twitch Rivals. As the company prepares to face competition from other streaming services in the near future.

 

Source: TechCrunch

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