Games company Kepler raises $ 120 million from China’s NetEase

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The logo of Chinese tech company NetEase is seen on an advertisement at a bus stop in Beijing, China on May 24, 2020. REUTERS / Florence Lo

STOCKHOLM, Sept. 28 (Reuters) – Kepler Interactive, a developer-owned and run publisher of games, said on Tuesday it had secured $ 120 million in funding from Chinese games company NetEase Inc (9999.HK).

The group, made up of seven game companies including Alpha Channel and Sloclap, plans to offer game studio founders to become co-owners, share resources and financial gains, while being in charge of their own studios.

“We have a studio committee, which meets weekly, they are involved in the important decisions of the company, but they are not involved in the individual decisions of the studios, so the studios remain independent,” said the CEO Alexis Garavaryan in an interview.

Swedish company Embracer (EMBRACb.ST) had a somewhat similar model in which instead of partnering, it bought companies but allowed their founders to run them independently with full creative and operational freedom. This model helped Embracer to become the largest video game company in Europe.

Kepler will have operational centers in London and Singapore, with teams in 10 countries, and a roster of 2022 titles such as the third-person action game Sifu, the survival horror adventure video game in the first person Scorn and the open world adventure game Tchia.

Garavayan did not disclose the valuation of the company but said NetEase would be a minority investor.

The global games market will generate $ 175.8 billion in 2021 and is expected to cross the $ 200 billion mark in 2023, according to game analytics firm Newzoo.

The company’s studios are currently focusing on PC and console games, but it might consider bringing in studios that are experts in mobile games and animations.

“There are discussions about the expansion, so we’ve had discussions about setting up an animation studio, so that we can adapt some of our properties into animated series,” Garavaryan said.

Reporting by Supantha Mukherjee, European correspondent for technology and telecommunications, based in Stockholm; Editing by Dan Grebler

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.


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