Extracted from Massivelyop:
“Tencent has a reputation for being a responsible long-term investor, and for its renowned operational capabilities in online games,” Funcom CEO Rui Casais says in the announcement. “The insight, experience, and knowledge that Tencent will bring is of great value to us and we look forward to working closely with them as we continue to develop great games and build a successful future for Funcom.”
Notably, the PR does mention the DUNE IP multiple times and suggests that the first game, the open-world sandbox, is “working closely with Legendary Entertainment who will be releasing a new DUNE feature film in December 2020 directed by Denis Villeneuve.”
Extracted from PC Gamer:
Norwegian publisher and developer Funcom, the outfit behind Conan Exiles, The Secret World and an upcoming series of games based on Dune has announced that Chinese gaming giant Tencent will soon own a 29% share in their company.
In their official press release, Funcom state that Tencent is acquiring the share of the company currently held by Norwegian firm KGJ Capital AS, and (as noted by Reuters) have done so at a premium), and while the ink hasn’t yet dried on this deal, it is far along enough to be officially declared.
While a major power in the Chinese games industry, Tencent have been investing heavily in publishers and developers around the world. Last year they became the majority shareholder in Path Of Exile studio Grinding Gear Games. They also own a large share in Epic Games (although Epic is keen to stress this does not put Tencent in charge), and their investment in Ubisoft may have prevented a hostile takeover by Vivendi. They also own shares in Riot, Paradox and Frontier.
While this may mean a lot for the financial stability of companies like Funcom, it seems unlikely to have much effect on the company’s short-term plans, which includes further expansion for survival sandbox Conan Exiles (including mounted combat later this year) and a series of Dune games, intended to be tied into next year’s film remake, directed by Denis Villeneuve.
And the pièce de résistance