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Bungie nets $100M+ from China's NetEase, aims to create 'new worlds'

This is a big deal because it seems likely to fundamentally shift the way Bungie makes and operates games, both at home and abroad, as the studio aims to use the funds to spin up multiple dev teams.

Chinese tech giant NetEase announced today that it's spent over $100 million to acquire a minority stake in Bellevue-based Destiny (and former Halo) developer Bungie Entertainment.

This is a big deal because it seems likely to fundamentally shift the way Bungie makes and operates games, both at home and abroad.

However, it's somewhat less surprising when you consider that Bungie's biggest partner right now is presumably Destiny publisher Activision, and NetEase has long been a partner to Activision's own Blizzard, operating games like Diablo III and StarCraft II in China.

It's not yet clear how (or if) NetEase will be working with Bungie to bring its latest game, Destiny 2, to China. What is clear is that NetEase will now have a seat on Bungie's board of directors, and it appears as though the newfound support will both aid Bungie in bringing its work to new audiences (presumably in China) and allow it to support multiple dev teams at once.

"With their industry expertise, [NetEase will] empower us to build new worlds and invite players, new and old, to join us there," reads a Bungie blog post announcing the deal. "They’ll help us support separate teams inside Bungie to bring our newest ambitions to life."

While the aforementioned press release makes it clear that Bungie will continue to "develop and expand" its Destiny franchise, it also states that the studio will "begin the creation of new worlds" under the leadership of cofounder Jason Jones.

While NetEase oversees all sorts of online games and services, the company is perhaps most familiar to game devs as the target of PUBG Corp.'s recent lawsuit over Knives Out and Rules of Survival, two NetEase-operated mobile battle royale games which PUBG Corp. alleges infringe on its own golden goose, PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds.

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