Chinese gaming company NetEase Inc. has recently invested in a game developer firm Kepler Interactive. The game developer company is co-owned and run by developers.
The group consists of seven gaming companies including Sloclap and Alpha Channel, which plans to offer game studio founders to become co-owners, share financial gains and resources, while managing their studios.
CEO Alexis Garavaryan said in an interview, “We have a studio committee, which meets on a weekly basis, they get involved in major company decisions, but they don’t get involved into individual studio decisions, so the studios remain independent.”
Kepler Interactive will have its operational hub in Singapore besides London, with teams spread in more than 10 countries, and a 2022 schedule of titles such as Scorn, first-person survival horror-adventure video game, Sifu- a third-person action game, and Tchia-an open-world adventure game.
The gaming company has set up its main office in Singapore. According to Chief Executive Alexis Garavaryan, “the city-state has always been a thriving global business hub and an attractive destination for local and international talent”.
He added, “It’s only natural for us to have a key strategic office here. It also helps to be closer to our existing studio collective in Asia and Australasia and build deeper relationships across the region with other companies in our ecosystem. We hope to further strengthen the links between gaming and Singapore as Kepler Interactive grows and develops.”
Alexis Garavaryan previously worked with-Tencent and has led several initiatives ranging from equity investment to platform building. Mr. Garavaryan also supported Tencent’s internal studios on Honor of Kings, one of the world’s top-grossing games.
Kepler’s studios are presently focusing on console and PC games, but it might expand into studios with expertise in mobile animations and games. To date, Kepler’s partnet studios are found across the globe- they are Sloclap and Ebb Software in Europe, Timberline and Alpha Channel in North America, A44 in New Zealand, and Shapefarm in Asia.
“There’s conversations about expansion so we have had talks about bringing an animation studio, so that we can adapt some of our properties into animated series,” said Garavaryan
According to gaming analytics company NewZoo, the global games market will make $175 billion by this year and is expected to be more than $200 billion by 2023.
The investment from Chinese firm NetEase Inc has come amidst China’s crackdown on the gaming industry with the government unleashing many regulatory hurdles on video game companies.