Halo Infinite and Minecraft Support Studio SkyBox Labs is NetEase’s Latest Acquisition


Chinese mega publisher NetEase continues its expansion into the Western development scene as today the company announced they’ve acquired SkyBox Labs, the Vancouver, Canada-based support studio that’s primarily worked with Xbox Game Studios on the likes of Halo Infinite, Minecraft, and various Age of Empires titles.

It sounds like SkyBox will continue to assist other studios with their games under NetEase ownership, although the press release for the acquisition does mention Skybox will also “pursue creative opportunities.” SkyBox has produced some original titles of their own, including the well-received artsy platformer Stela, so with NetEase’s support, perhaps we’ll see more in than vein.

NetEase’s president of global investment and partnerships Simon Zhu had the following to say about the new partnership with SkyBox…

“We are thrilled to welcome SkyBox Labs to the NetEase Games family and are committed to creating an environment that allows them to thrive and operate independently as a game studio. We were impressed with their extensive experience in game development and are great admirers of their past work on some of the world’s leading franchises. We look forward to working with the SkyBox Labs co-founders and providing the resources needed to help them grow their presence in Canada as they continue to support top creators around the world in developing unforgettable gaming experiences for players.”

Interestingly, one of NetEase’s big recent moves was backing Jar of Sparks, a new Seattle-based startup studio founded by many former Halo Infinite top creatives. They’re looking to create a “new generation of narrative-driven action games,” so perhaps SkyBox Labs will be helping them out with that? The people behind the two studios have a history and are certainly close geographically, so it would make sense.

What do you think about NetEase’s continued expansion? Could some good games eventually come out of it? You can get more info on their latest moves here.

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