from softwarethe Japanese studio went from a niche developer making mini hits to Eldon Ring – The best-selling game of 2022 so far – has been a popular target for acquisitions and acquisition speculation.
But while FromSoftware hasn’t been acquired by any major corporations, major corporations are quickly buying shares in Kadokawa, the company that owns FromSoftware.
Kadokawa announced in a press release this morning [PDF] It has issued its new shares in FromSoftware to Chinese giants Tencent and Sony Interactive Entertainment.
Tencent, through its subsidiary Sixjoy Hong Kong, currently owns 16.25% of the studio, while Sony Interactive Entertainment owns 14.09%, for a combined 30.34%. Kadokawa remains the largest holder of FromSoftware stock with a 69.66% stake.
In a press release, FromSoftware’s parent company said the funding will “strengthen” the studio’s ability to create and develop game IP. Interestingly, it also hints that FromSoft may look to publish games in the future, “to build a framework that would allow FromSoftware to expand its distribution in global markets.”
The press release didn’t specify whether this was referring to the studio’s own games, or those of other developers. That being said, it’s not surprising that developers continue to partner with larger companies to fund their projects, while using some of the remaining funds to publish smaller titles.
Some of these games also work on mobile devices. Kadokawa said FromSoftware sold part of its stake to Sixjoy Hong Kong in part because of the studio’s expertise in creating mobile games and web technologies. Sony’s involvement, on the other hand, will help FromSoftware reach a wider audience with its experience in publishing games and other media.
After Elden Ring launched and was a huge success, the developer said it was looking to expand into media beyond video games. Sony has been turning some of its franchises into movies and TV shows, with varying degrees of success. FromSoft may have seen an opportunity to use this power to expand its own IP range.