NetEase has acquired Halo and Minecraft co-developer SkyBox Labs

NetEase Games has acquired Canadian studio SkyBox Labs for an undisclosed sum.

Founded in 2011 and based in Burnaby and Victoria, SkyBox has made two original titles, 2016’s TASTEE: Lethal Tactics and 2019’s Stela.

It is also the co-developer of many more high-profile games from publishers including Xbox Game Studios and Electronic Arts (EA Sports UFC).

Stela – Nintendo Switch and Steam Release Date Announcement

The studio is currently working on Halo Infinite, Minecraft games and Fallout 76. It previously contributed to other Halo and Minecraft titles, plus multiple entries in Microsoft’s Age of Empires series and the platform holder’s Project Spark.

According to Friday’s announcement, SkyBox will operate independently within NetEase Games under the leadership of its three co-founders Shyang Kong, Derek MacNeil and Steven Silvester.

It will continue to work closely with its existing partners to co-develop games in the PC and console space and will be adding new ones in the future.

“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,” said SkyBox founder Kong.

SkyBox is the latest in a string of studio acquisitions by Chinese tech and gaming giant NetEase in recent years, which also include No More Heroes developer Grasshopper Manufacture and Quantic Dream, the Paris-based studio behind Heavy Rain, Detroit: Become Human and Beyond: Two Souls.

Yakuza creator Toshihiro Nagoshi joined the company last year to found Nagoshi Studio, a “wholly-owned subsidiary” of NetEase Games focused on “high-end titles” primarily for consoles.