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NetEase Games acquires Halo Infinite co-developer SkyBox Labs cover image

NetEase Games acquires Halo Infinite co-developer SkyBox Labs

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NetEase Games has acquired Halo Infinite co-developer SkyBox Labs. Here are the details.

NetEase Games has acquired SkyBox Labs, which is a Canadian studio involved in games such as Halo Infinite, Fallout 76, and Minecraft. Read on for details about this acquisition and information about the NetEase and Blizzard situation.

NetEase Games and SkyBox Labs

SkyBox Labs is a game studio based in Burnaby and Victoria, Canada. Founded in 2011, the studio has worked with publishers such as Electronic Arts, Wizards of the Coast, and Xbox Game Studios. With the acquisition by the games division of NetEase, SkyBox Labs will continue to operate independently while working with co-development partners and adding new partners down the line.
SkyBox Labs worked on Halo Infinite as a co-developer (Image via Xbox Game Studios)
SkyBox Labs worked on Halo Infinite as a co-developer (Image via Xbox Game Studios)
"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," Simon Zhu, the president of global investment and partnerships at NetEase Games, said.
Zhu noted that the NetEase Games team was impressed with the Canadian studio's experience in game development. The acquisition of SkyBox Labs also means working with the Canadian studio's co-founders and offering the resources required to grow SkyBox Labs' presence. The SkyBox Labs co-founders include Derek MacNeil, Steven Silvester, and Shyang Kong.
A screenshot of Fallout 76 (Image via Bethesda Game Studios)
A screenshot of Fallout 76 (Image via Bethesda Game Studios)
“Over the last decade, we've had the pleasure to work on beloved games such as Halo Infinite, Minecraft, and Fallout 76," Kong said. "We remain committed to growing our presence in Canada, supporting our current and future partners, and co-developing more AAA games for some of the biggest game studios around the world."
Kong also acknowledged the talent, passion, and creativity of SkyBox Labs. By joining NetEase Games, SkyBox Labs will leverage operational resources and services to scale in Canada.

NetEase and Blizzard situation

As for NetEase itself and Blizzard, both parties weren't able to reach a deal to renew licensing agreements. On Jan. 23, most of Blizzard's game services will be suspended in mainland China.
"Certain games will no longer be available at end of license with NetEase on January 23, 2023," the announcement stated.
Players in China will soon no longer have access to game services for titles such as World of Warcraft, Hearthstone, and Overwatch 2.
Mike Ybarra, the president of Blizzard, noted that his company is looking for alternatives to bring these games back to players in the future.
Amy Chen
Amy Chen
Editor | Twitter @AmyChenOfficial
Amy Chen is an esports journalist and enthusiast who specializes in in-depth interviews and breaking news. A University of Toronto and Humber College graduate, she is passionate about building up the Canadian esports industry. Her current favorite games are Hearthstone and Heroes of the Storm, and she has always had a soft spot for World of Warcraft!