The Chinese Corporation Owns Two Big Studios
Update: It appears at this time that a purchase hasn't yet gone through. Trading on the stock has been ended, but Tencent has entered into a period of exclusive negotiations over the next three months with Leyou, much like iDreamsky did last year. While this does not guarantee a deal, it does make it very likely that Tencent will acquire Leyou.
Original Story below
Leyou Technologies Holdings Limited, the owner of Splash Damage and Digital Extremes among other studios, was just purchased by another entity. Some speculation on the purchaser points to some big names, including none other than Sony itself.
The Hong Kong-based company Leyou Technologies Holding Limited issued a trading halt for all shares of the company because of a pending announcement "pursuant to the Hong Kong Code on Takeovers and Mergers." This is according to industry analyst Daniel Ahmad, who posted the announcement on Twitter. Just a few days ago, Ahmad also mentioned that Leyou was looking to sell and noted a shortlist of interested companies, namely Sony Corporation, iDreamsky, and Century Huatong. While there is no official word yet as to whether any of these companies purchased Leyou, the outcome of said purchase would be interesting indeed.
iDreamsky, which Tencent owns some share of according to Bloomberg.com, and Century Huatong are Chinese companies in the running as possible new owners. This would likely not shift the fortunes of the company that radically. However, the possibility of Sony acquiring Leyou is a more intriguing scenario, as this would mean that Digital Extremes and its Warframe IP could be owned by Sony. With both console makers buying up studios for their first-party efforts, it would make sense that Sony wants publishing rights to one of the most successful free to play games on the market.
Other companies owned by Leyou include Splash Damage (who recently developed Gears Tactics with Microsoft), Athlon Games (currently creating a Lord of the Rings MMORPG), as well as Kingmaker and Radiance Games, two mobile game developers. Leyou also owns a stake in Certain Affinity, a studio founded by former Bungie employees that retains close ties to Microsoft's Halo franchise.
For now, the new owner of Leyou is unknown, but with notice of an impending announcement, we will likely find out soon.
Who do you think acquired Leyou? What do you think of Sony being the possible owner? Let us know in the comments below!