NetEase Has Acquired Halo Infinite Co-Developer SkyBox Labs

NetEase's shopping spree hasn't stopped in 2023. After purchasing Suda51's studio Grasshopper Manufacture in 2021, NetEase went on to buy Detroit: Become Human developer Quantic Dream in August 2022. Now to kick 2023 off with a bang, NetEase has purchased Canadian developer SkyBox Labs.

"Over the last decade, we've had the pleasure to work on beloved games such as Halo Infinite, Minecraft, and Fallout 76," wrote Skybox co-founder Shyang Kong. "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."

Besides co-creating Halo Infinite alongside 343 Industries, SkyBox has worked on a number of projects ranging from Minecraft to Age of Empires II HD. The studio recently announced plans to expand with three new offices in the metro Vancouver area, including two large offices in Burnaby and another in Victoria. SkyBox had just over 250 employees as of last August, and is currently hiring across all disciplines.

Last August's press release also noted that Skybox was working on "a number of upcoming unannounced titles including partner projects and internal IP." Skybox will retain its current leadership under its three co-founders Shyang Kong, Derek MacNeil, and Steven Silvester.

Not everything is going NetEase’s way in 2023. The Chinese publisher failed to reach an agreement with Blizzard in November to extend its licensing agreement for a number of titles, which took games like Diablo 3, Overwatch 2, Starcraft 2, and World of Warcraft offline in mainland China.

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