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Tencent Acquires 49.9% Stake in Ubisoft Holding Company

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Tencent is again making it’s mark in the gaming world, purchasing 49.9% stake in Guillemot Brothers Limited, the holding company of Ubisoft, as well as a 5 percent voting stake in the company, according to Reuters.

Tencent already held a 4.5% stake in Ubisoft, but now moves to obtain more control as Ubisoft prepares it’s next slate of game releases. The deal stats that Tencent can reportedly raise its stake in Ubisoft up to 9.99%.

Ubisoft released the following statement:

The expansion of the concert with Tencent further reinforces Ubisofts core shareholding around its founders and provides the company with the stability essential for its long-term development. said Yves Guillemot, CEO and Co-Founder, Ubisoft.

In a context where platforms and business models are converging, this transaction, which validates our strategy and highlights the strong intrinsic value of the assets we have built over the long term, is excellent news for our teams, gamers and shareholders. Tencent is a key shareholder partner for many of the industrys leaders, who have created some of the most outstanding video games. This transaction reinforces our ability to create strong value over the coming years.

The team at Ubisoft has shown an impressive ability to consistently create world-class entertainment along with a diverse portfolio of brands that include some of the most successful franchises in the industry, said Martin Lau, President of TencentWe are excited to expand our engagement with the founders, the Guillemot familyas Ubisoft continues to develop immersive game experiences, and to bring some of Ubisoft’s most well-known AAA franchises to mobile. This agreement also aligns with our philosophy to invest alongside creative founders with full confidence that they will lead their companies to new heights.

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Market

Xbox Q2 Revenue Dips 13%, Game Pass Continues Growth

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Microsoft has reported declines in Xbox revenue during the three months ended December 31, 2022 with gaming revenues were down 13% and Xbox content and services revenues down 12%, but were offset by the growth of Xbox Game Pass.

The Xbox Game Pass subscription business has reported a record number of active players, reporting a record 120 million monthly active users across its gaming ecosystem.

  • Revenue: $52.7 billion (up 2% year-on-year)
  • Net income: $16.4 billion (down 12%)
  • Operating income: $20.4 billion (down 8%)
  • More Personal Computing (incl. Xbox) revenue: $14.2 million (down 19%)
  • Gaming revenue: Down 13%
  • Xbox content and services revenue: Down 12%
  • Xbox hardware revenue: Down 13%
  • Monthly active users (gaming): 120 million

The company said that a number of the declines were in line with expectations.

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Business

NetEase Acquires SkyBox Labs

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NetEase Games has officially announced their acquisition of Canadian-based game developer SkyBox Labs, which was founded back in 2011 and has co-developed titles such as Halo Infinite, Minecraft, and Fallout 76.

Following the acquisition, SkyBox Labs will continue to operate independently under the supervision of its founders Shyang Kong, Derek MacNeil, and Steven Silvester, and will continue to co-create games alongside existing and new partners.

“We have built a team of talented individuals who are passionate and creative, and by joining NetEase Games, we will also be able to accelerate our plans to pursue new creative opportunities and enjoy access to world-class operational resources and the full breadth and depth of NetEase’s services so we can scale faster in Canada,” said Kong in an official statement.

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GameStop Continues Troubling Trend in Q3

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GameStop continues to see a dip in sales and Q3 data shows that the company is not showing that it can climb out of the troubling spot it has been in for the last few years, according to the company’s financial report.

The numbers demonstrate the financials for the three month period that ended on October 29th, 2022.

The numbers:

  • Net sales: $1.2 billion, down 8% year-over-year
  • Net loss: $94.7 million, down 10% year-on-year
  • Hardware and accessories: $627 million, down 6% year-over-year
  • Software: $352 million, down 19% year-over-year
  • GameStop’s net loss was down 10% compared to the same period last year, but still hit $94.7 million
  • Sales decreased across the board

In an earnings call (as transcribed via Seeking Alpha), Gamestop CEO Matt Furlong stated that the company would not provide “formal guidance at this time.”

“It is worth reiterating, however, that our goal is to achieve profitability in the near term,” he said.

“I want to finish by reiterating what we’ve said in the past. We’re attempting to accomplish something unprecedented in the retail sector. We’re seeking to transform a legacy brick-and-mortar business that was on the brink of bankruptcy into a retailer that meets customers’ needs through our stores, e-commerce properties and emerging sales channels. This path carries risk and is taking time, but it is the path we are on. With that said, GameStop is a stronger business today than at any time in the recent past.”

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