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NetEase Buys Stake in UK Game Developer Jumpship

Jumpship was co-founded by Dino Patti, ex-CEO of Danish game company Playdead, creator of hit games Inside and Limbo.

Anna Vodopyanova
    Jul 19, 2018 1:15 PM  PT
NetEase Buys Stake in UK Game Developer Jumpship
Somervile, a game in development by Jumpship (Source: Jumpship)

The stock of NetEase Inc. (Nasdaq: NTES) rose 1 percent on Thursday afternoon on news that the Chinese online game producer has acquired a minority stake in Jumpship, a UK-based game developer.

Jumpship was founded in 2017 by film animator Chris Olsen and Dino Patti. The latter is the ex-chief executive officer and co-founder of Denmark's game company Playdead, developer of hit games Limbo and Inside.

Somerville, Jumpship's first game, has yet to launch. The company has released two teaser trailers for the project, but no expected completion date. The investment by NetEase would boost the Guildford, UK-based game developer as it plans to double its team, which now has six full-time members, over the next year.

"For me NetEase seems like a perfect match," Patti said in a statement. "It's been natural for us to focus on Europe and North America, so we're excited to get a very strong partner in China. It goes without saying that we keep our full independence and that we are now looking for additional talent to join the team."

In an interview to earlier this week, Patti said that releasing games in the Chinese market has been a longstanding goal.

Olsen, who created the structure of Somerville, according to a report by VentureBeat, said in a separate statement, "It's crucial to me that we're creating something that helps expand the definition of games and draws people in from outside the medium. We're looking forward to collaborating with people who share these fundamental ambitions."

The amount of NetEase's investment and its stake in Jumpship were not disclosed.

The company's funding comes as Chinese tech giants are competing for content in the entertainment and gaming industry. Earlier this week, China's popular entertainment platform, iQiyi Inc. (Nasdaq: IQ) snapped up domestic game maker Skymoons in a deal worth nearly $300 million.

NetEase plans to report its second quarter earnings on August 8. Its stock rose 49 cents on Thursday to $262.11 per American depositary share.