Sony is apparently looking into acquiring Hong Kong gaming company Leyou Technologies Holdings Ltd. Bloomberg reports that Sony is weighing its option on a bid for the company and working with a financial advisor.
In its domestic region, Leyou has been at the center of an ongoing bidding war. There's been one takeover offer from its rival Zhejiang Century Huatong Group Co., and iDreamSky Technology Holdings was deep in talk with Leyou's majority shareholder for a buyout before the COVID-19 pandemic put a stop to those discussions. That majority shareholder, Charles Yuk, is apparently hoping to choose a buyer this month, which makes Sony a contender.
You might not have heard of Leyou, but you have heard of its subsidiaries. Athlon Games is re-publishing the old Telltale Games titles and publishes Samurai Shodown worldwide for SNK. It has also partnered with Amazon Game Studios to co-develop a Lord of the Rings MMO. Leyou owns Splash Damage, the studio behind the recent Gears Tactics, and Digital Extremes, the team who continue to operate and expand Warframe. The latter is considered Leyou's flagship game.
Leyou also retains two studios in China, KingMaker and Radiance Games. This connection may be key to Sony, as a buyout of Leyou would not only provide Sony with the previously-mentioned studios, but would potentially strengthen the PlayStation 5 in Hong Kong and China. The PlayStation launched in China back in 2015, and Sony has admitted that spinning up that business was costly and difficult.
"We had to develop entire networks from scratch. In essence, we went back to where we started and founded an entire business," said Sony Interactive Entertainment Shanghai vice chairman and president Takehito Soeda last year (via GamesIndustry.biz). "In any other market, you can release a game with minimal interaction with censors. In China, it's a challenge. It slows what we can bring to market, because we're not just selling hardware, we're selling content. We're only able to get 30 or 40 games out a year, whereas everywhere else in the world, we can reliably release hundreds. We want more content available in the market."
Acquiring Leyou would certainly be a step in that direction.