Tencent Acquires Sharkmob, Made Up Of Ex-Ubisoft Devs

Sharkmob is headed by Fredrik Rundqvist, ex-CEO of Massive Entertainment.
Tencent has acquired Sharkmob, an independent studio comprised of veterans in the industry.
Tencent has acquired Sharkmob, an independent studio comprised of veterans in the industry. Sharkmob

In a bid to expand its influence in the Western gaming market, Chinese gaming giant Tencent has announced its acquisition of Sharkmob, a Swedish online game developer.

This is even before Sharkmob – an independent developer – even got to announce its first title. The acquisition was outright as well, meaning that Sharkmob is now 100 percent owned by Tencent Holdings, joining the ranks of Riot Games, the US-based developer of MOBA title League of Legends.

"Sharkmob's creative and passionate team has a proven track record of developing triple-A titles which involves open world settings and various gameplays," Tencent senior VP Steven Ma said in a press release. "We look forward to more exciting innovation for game-lovers by combining Sharkmob's development capabilities with Tencent's technologies and expertise."

So, what’s the spark behind Sharkmob that made its acquisition lucrative for Tencent? Its talent, apparently. The indie developer is comprised of ex-Ubisoft developers, including ex-CEO of Massive Entertainment and former executive producer for The Division, Fredrik Rundqvist. He now acts as Sharkmob's CEO, and shares founding duties with Anders Holmquist, Martin Hultberg, Petter Mannerfelt and Rodrigo Cortes – all big names in the industry, known for their work on both The Division and Square Enix’s Hitman.

Rundqvist explained the acquisition from his perspective in a press release, stating, "We view the future of online gaming the same way and Tencent being a leading internet and games platform gives Sharkmob the reach and resources to be a part of that future. Support from Tencent's incredible group of game teams will allow us to fully pursue our passion of bringing great gaming experiences to as many players as possible."

Sharkmob’s focus as a developer goes beyond single-player titles. "We're not really interested in making a more traditional single-player type of game," Rundqvist stated back when the studio was first formed. "What we play privately, the kind of games we love, are very social, very competitive, always multiplayer. The more the merrier."

To that end, they teased their first title to be a multiplayer game, to be playable on both PCs and consoles. It will be based on a “cult classic” franchise, and Sharkmob states that it’s also focused on bringing together different platforms through cross-play.


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