NetEase acquires Halo Infinite and Minecraft co-dev

Halo Infinite campaign co-op beta
(Image credit: Xbox Game Studios)

NetEase has acquired the co-developer of Halo Infinite, Fallout 76, Age of Empires, and more.

Announced earlier today on January 6, Canadian-based developer SkyBox Labs has been acquired by NetEase for an undisclosed amount. Despite the acquisition by the Chinese company though, SkyBox Labs will continue to operate independently of its new parent company. 

Currently, SkyBox is busy working on both Halo Infinite with developer 343, and Minecraft with developer Mojang. On top of that, the Canadian developer is also collaborating on Fallout 76 with Bethesda, so with three games on the go at once, it's fair to say SkyBox has its fingers in a fair few pies.

If the new acquisition by NetEase allows SkyBox Labs to operate independently, there's no reason to believe the development studio won't continue working on all three aforementioned titles.

The move marks NetEase's first acquisition of 2023, after acquiring a fair few developers in 2022. Star Wars Eclipse developer Quantic Dream was acquired by the Chinese company back in August 2022 in perhaps its most high-profile acquisition of the year, while the publisher also tempted away long-time Yakuza lead Toshihiro Nahoshi to form his own studio under the company

If the acquisition of SkyBox Labs tells you one thing, it's that NetEase most definitely isn't letting up on the acquisitions for the coming year. Additionally, given SkyBox's foothold in the western-facing game development scene, take this as a sign NetEase will likely continue to look westward for new acquisitions.

For more on what to expect from the coming year in the games industry, check out our new games 2023 guide for more. 

Hirun Cryer is a freelance reporter and writer with Gamesradar+ based out of U.K. After earning a degree in American History specializing in journalism, cinema, literature, and history, he stepped into the games writing world, with a focus on shooters, indie games, and RPGs, and has since been the recipient of the MCV 30 Under 30 award for 2021. In his spare time he freelances with other outlets around the industry, practices Japanese, and enjoys contemporary manga and anime.