The Chinese mega publisher NetEase is expanding into the Western development scene by announcing today that they have acquired SkyBox Labs. SkyBox Labs is a support studio based in Vancouver, Canada, and its primary client is Xbox Game Studios. SkyBox Labs has primarily collaborated with Xbox Game Studios on projects such as Halo Infinite, Minecraft, and various Age of Empires titles.
Under the ownership of NetEase, it seems as though SkyBox will continue to assist other game companies with developing their games. However, the press statement announcing the acquisition does say that Skybox will also “pursue innovative ideas.” SkyBox has produced some unique titles of its own, one of which is the artistic platformer Stela, which earned positive reviews, and now, with the help of NetEase, perhaps we will see more games in the same style.
The following is what Simon Zhu, head of global investment and partnerships for NetEase, had to say about the new cooperation that the company has formed with SkyBox:
“We are thrilled to have SkyBox Labs join the NetEase Games family. We are dedicated to cultivating an atmosphere enabling them to flourish and continue to function independently as a gaming company. We were blown away by their wealth of expertise in game creation, and we have the utmost respect for the work that they have done in the past on some of the most successful brands in the world.
We look forward to working with the co-founders of SkyBox Labs and providing the resources necessary to assist them in expanding their presence in Canada. SkyBox Labs continues to support top creators worldwide in developing unforgettable gaming experiences for players, and we are excited to collaborate with them.”
Interestingly, one of NetEase’s significant recent steps was to provide financial support to Jar of Sparks. This new Seattle-based startup studio was established by many former top creatives working on Halo Infinite.
They hope to build a “new generation of narrative-driven action games,” which you can read more about here. “Therefore, SkyBox Labs may be assisting them with that. It would make sense, given that the people behind the two studios have a history together and are geographically located near one another.
How do you feel about the fact that NetEase is continuously growing? Is it possible that some good games may emerge out of it? Here you will find further information on their most recent actions.