Sony and Tencent have purchased a combined 30.34% of FromSoftware shares, with Sony now holding a 14.09% stake in the studio.
While not an outright acquisition, FromSoftware has been a studio many speculated would be ripe for acquisition by a major company. The studio has been on the rise in popularity thanks to its Souls series, with each game performing better than the last commercially. Its latest game, Elden Ring, is the top-selling game of 2022 so far and one of the top 10 bestselling premium games of all time in the U.S.
This joint purchase by Sony and Tencent will split FromSoftware’s ownership between these two entities and the parent company Kadokawa Group, which remains the largest shareholder at 69.66% ownership. However, Tencent does also have a 6.86% stake in Kadokawa as well.
This investment, which totaled 36.4 billion yen, or approximately $262 million, will be used to “proactively invest in development of more powerful game IP for itself to strengthen FromSoftware’s development capabilities and will seek to establish a framework that allows the expansion of the scope of its own publishing in the significantly growing global market.” It will also specifically create new IP for Sony, as well as utilize existing IP for new games and anime.
Sony and Tencent’s now minority stake in FromSoftware will help allow the developer to self-publish its games outside of Japan, where previously they relied on publishers such as Bandai-Namco or Activision.
While Sony’s share of the developer is still minor, it does establish their intent to further strengthen their bond with the studio. Sony notoriously passed on publishing Demon’s Souls outside of Japan but partnered with the studio again to create the PS4 exclusive Bloodborne. Based on the language used, it appears as though Sony has plans to leverage FromSoftware’s talents in more exclusive games in the future.
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