Another Chinese company is looking to invest in western game development.
Chinese online game operator The9 revealed early this morning that fellow China-based entertainment company Shanghai Oriental Pearl group is planning to invest in Red 5 Studios (as first spotted by Polygon). The deal would enable Oriental Pearl to acquire a 20 percent stake in Red 5 Studios for $24 million. Red 5 is the developer of the massively multiplayer online shooter Firefall for PC.
This deal values the free-to-play Firefall at $100 million. Following the closure of this transaction, The9 would maintain its majority stake in Red 5, which it acquired in 2010.
We’ve reached out to Red 5 for comment, and we’ll update this post with any new information.
All parties plan to push forward with this investment, but the deal is not binding and could still fall through.
Firefall is the first game from Red 5. It combines elements of shooters with the MMO role-playing game genre. Red 5 cofounder Mark Kern previously led developer BioWare in the production of its hit MMORPG World of Warcraft. Kern attempted to bring what he learned from that incredibly successful title into Red 5′s shooter.
The announcement of this deal follows other recent Chinese investments into western game development. Chinese Internet company Tencent has holdings in Gears of War developer Epic Games and League of Legend studio Riot Games. Tencent also moved in to acquire a piece of Activision in July.