Sony and Tencent have made a big purchase this morning as they become big shareholders in FromSoftware, developers of the Dark Souls series and Elden Ring. Sony Interactive Entertainment has purchased 14.1% of shares, whilst Tencent has an even larger 16.3%, for a combined total of 30.4%. Combined the two companies now own almost a third of the legendary video game company. The majority shareholder is still Kadokawa with 69.6%, as is shown in official documents from today.
The interest from Sony is unsurprising, after the success of PlayStation-exclusive Bloodborne, releasing in 2015 but having a continued legacy thanks to a dedicated fan base. Elden Ring was a hit this year also, selling the majority of copies after release on PS4 and PS5, according to NPD’s Mat Piscatella.
The shareholder update document also lists some of the intent behind the purchase. Thanks to a translation from Genki we know the purpose of the sale is to “expand and market FromSoftware IP on the global scale”, using the two purchasing companies expertise to expand those IP into “various media such as games, anime and film”. This line of reasoning makes perfect sense, as Sony has been in both the movie and gaming business for years. Recent announcements for Days Gone and Gravity Rush film projects demonstrate Sony’s continued interest in making their properties multimedia-spanning franchises; now they can do the same with FromSoftware.
The more concerning part of this purchase for many gamers will be the involvement of Tencent, known for their heavy focus on mobile gaming and live service titles. The intent of sale on behalf of FromSoftware does specify expanding the market for their games, and Tencent’s popularity in China could help greatly expand FromSoftware’s market into the region.
What do you think of this purchase? What FromSoftware properties should be turned into other media projects? Whether this means much in the long-run for FromSoftware remains to be seen, but you can be sure we will update you when we know. For more industry news, keep your eyes on GameLuster.