NetEase acquires SkyBox Labs, developer of Halo Infinite, AoE, and Fallout Support

Chinese video game publisher NetEase seems to have ambitions to develop games such as Halo Infinite and Fallout in... Maria | 8. January 2023

Chinese video game publisher NetEase seems to have ambitions to develop games such as Halo Infinite and Fallout in the future, and with the recent acquisition of the Canadian game developer SkyBox Labs, is already taking the first steps.

Following the acquisition of SkyBox Labs, NetEase said the studio would continue its operations independently under new owners.

To date, the Canadian game developer has built an impressive portfolio with multiple well-known franchises such as Halo, Age of Empires, or Fallout, including two independent games — Stela and TASTEE: Lethal Tactics.

Is SkyBox Acquisition good for Chinese video game market?

For the Chinese video game industry, the acquisition is of great interest, especially after  Microsoft announced the addition of Activision Blizzard last year. The deal has yet to be finalized, but other acquisitions have been made throughout the year.

On paper, NetEase’s acquisition of SkyBox Labs seems like a minor blip in general. However, after a thorough analysis, the deal suddenly makes sense when the Chinese company’s ambitions are considered.

Will NetEase develop a title similar to Halo Infinite?

Although Halo Infinite has received some harsh reviews, this is the latest release of a major franchise. However, Halo Infinite is licensed to 343 Industries, who co-developed the title, so NetEase would have to aim for developing a new Halo game if it wants to lay its hand on the franchise.

However, NetEase has previously shown ambitions for expansion, and acquiring SkyBox gives the company a tool to do so.

Until now, the brand has been limited mainly to the mobile market, partnering with Marvel.


SkyBox Labs co-founder Shyang Kong commented on the acquisition:

“We have built a team of talented individuals who are passionate and creative, and by joining NetEase Games, we will also be able to accelerate our plans to pursue new creative opportunities and enjoy access to world-class operational resources and the full breadth and depth of NetEase’s services so we can scale faster in Canada.”

This is not the first acquisition for the Chinese video game company. SkyBox Labs joins NetEase’s list of companies which already includes Grasshopper Production and Quantum Dream. The latter is well known in the gaming community, thanks to having worked on titles such as Heavy Rain and Detroit: Become Human.

Header: NetEase Global | Twitter