Unreal, BioShock Dev Digital Extremes Sold to Chinese Companies

Canadian developer sells 61 percent stake to a pair of Chinese firms.


Digital Extremes, the Canadian developer that worked with Epic Games on various Unreal Tournament games and the multiplayer mode for BioShock 2, has been sold to a pair of Chinese companies. Most recently, Digital Extremes launched free-to-play shooter Warframe for PC, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4.

Multi Dynamic Games Group Inc. and Perfect Online Holding Limited (a subsidiary of Neverwinter studio Perfect World Co.) have acquired a 61 percent stake in Digital Extremes. Multi Dynamic has acquired the lion's share (58 percent), while Perfect Online bought 3 percent.

The Darkness II
The Darkness II

If you're worried that decisions about where Warframe might go in the future will no longer be in Digital Extremes' hands, there's no need to fret, according to CEO James Schmalz.

"We are thrilled with the potential to work with partners who share our philosophy on the future of gaming and how we're approaching it," Schmalz said in a statement. "This partnership will further empower us to continue making Warframe bigger and better with full control over its destiny."

The acquisition has not yet closed, and is subject to several conditions. One of the conditions is the granting of exclusive rights to Perfect Online to publish Warframe in mainland China. That country recently lifted its 14-year ban on consoles, and the Xbox One went on sale in the region just last month, becoming the first console legally sold in China since 2000.

Digital Extremes is not the first North American company to have sold to a controlling interest to a Chinese firm. In 2011, Chinese Internet company Tencent acquired a majority stake in League of Legends developer Riot Games. A year later, Tencent bought a 40 percent stake in Gears of War creator Epic Games.

Digital Extremes also developed Star Trek, The Darkness II, and the PC version of Homefront.

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