Sony has joined forces with Tencent to purchase a 30.34 percent share of FromSoftware, the developer behind titles like Elden Ring, Dark Souls 3 and Bloodborne. Tencent's Sixjoy Hong Kong division will own 16.25 percent of FromSoftware's shares, Sony will take a 14.09 percent interest and parent Kadokawa Group will remain the largest shareholder with a 69.66 percent stake. Tencent already has an investment in Kadokawa from last year.
FromSoftware might not be a developer that's on the tip of your tongue, but it has an impressive catalog. Elden Ring has been the top selling game of 2022 to date, with sales of 12 million copies in the first 18 days alone. Along with Bloodborne and the Dark Souls franchise, it has also produced the PSVR mystery adventure Déraciné and Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice.
The company plans to use the funds raised (36.4 billion yen or $262 million) to strengthen its relationship with Sony, create new IP and expand its ability to publish globally. Elden Ring is the company's biggest hit to date, but it's published outside of Japan by Bandai Namco. Earlier this year, FromSoftware and Bandai Namco called Elden Ring the start of a "new franchise" and announced efforts to "expand the brand beyond the game itself and into everyone's daily life."
While Microsoft has grabbed most of the headlines with its (still-pending) Activision Blizzard acquisition, Sony has been snapping up studios as well. It recently completed a $3.6 billion deal to buy Halo and Destiny developer Bungie Games, along with God of War co-development studio Valkyrie and Jade Raymond's Haven Studios. Considering the success of Elden Ring, its stake in FromSoftware seems like a relative bargain.