NetEase has acquired developer SkyBox Labs for an undisclosed fee. Per the press release, the 12-year-old studio will continue to operate independently while also "working closely with existing and new partners to pursue creative opportunities and co-develop titles in the PC and console space."
SkyBox is best known for helping co-develop games with studios such as 343 Industries (Halo Infinite, plus Halo 5 and its Forge Mode) and Bethesda (Fallout 76).
Because Canada is a popular hub for game developers (particularly Montreal), SkyBox's presence allows NetEase to acquire more talent and increase its presence in the western game space. Considering the number of studios NetEase acquired or formed during 2022 (like Quantic Dream and Jar of Sparks), a support studio or two eases the game development process.
NetEase's partnerships president Simon Zhu added that it would will provide its new subsidiary with "resources and execution capabilities so that SkyBox Labs can "achieve faster scale while maintaining the quality of work the studio is known for."
Outside of games it's co-developed, SkyBox has also made its own titles, such as 2019's Stela. It's unclear if the studio will get other opportunities in the future to create its own original works.
SkyBox co-founder Shyang Kong said that NetEase acquisition will allow the developers to take advantage of its parent company's resources and grow in the Canadian games space. "We remain committed to growing our presence in Canada, supporting our current and future partners, and co-developing more triple-A games for some of the biggest studios around the world."
NetEase's full acquisition of SkyBox comes a handful of months after it invested in Rebel Wolves, the studio headed up by The Witcher 3 director Konrad Tomaszkiewicz.