William Malcolm

Tenecent Acquires Minority Stake In Bohemia Interactive

Tencent has acquired a minority stake in the Czech game developer Bohemia Interactive. Bohemia will remain independent and continue to operate under the current management team.

“We are pleased to deepen our relationship with Tencent, one of the world’s leading Internet and gaming companies. We look forward to working on our current and future projects with the support of a strong partner who knows us for many years and understands our unique approach to the development of online games, “said the director of Bohemia Interactive Marek Španěl.

According to him, the company will rank alongside the world’s top gaming studios, in which Tencent operates as a strategic investor, such as Epic Games or Paradox Interactive.

Last year, The Information reported that Tencent had bought the company. However, the company then denied reports of the transaction. The Information talked about buying 70 to 80 percent of the company for about $ 260 million, which was more than $ 6 billion at the time.

According to the chairman of the Association of Czech Game Developers, Pavel Barák, minority stakes are positive news for Czech development companies. “It shows that the industry is healthy, that there is interest in them on the international scene,” he said. According to him, similar sales make the Czech market more visible, which may attract other multinational gaming companies’ attention.

Last year, Bohemia Interactive sold 5.7 million copies of games for 1.6 billion crowns. Major titles such as DayZ and Arma 3 performed well. Fourteen million active players tried out the games, the company said in January. She did not publish the financial result. The year before, the company earned 1.5 billion crowns for the games.

According to the company, the gaming industry was successful last year. It was the second most successful year in terms of sales for more than twenty years of the company’s history for the company itself. The company employs more than 350 people in six branches in the Czech Republic, the Netherlands, and Thailand. Brothers Marek and Ondřej Španělová were behind the founding of Bohemia Interactive in 1999.

Czech computer game companies’ turnover reached 4.5 billion crowns the year before, thus increasing by a fifth year-on-year. Last year, according to estimates, the turnover could increase to five billion crowns. It said a study on the gaming industry’s state, which was published in June by the Association of Czech Game Developers.

There were 110 companies developing games in the Czech Republic last year. According to the association, production is often higher than the turnover of Czech film and television production. Most companies in the Czech Republic – 67 percent – develop games for consoles and PCs. A minor part is concentrated on the mobile market. The vast majority of customers are from abroad, especially from the United States, Germany, Great Britain, Russia, and China. More than half of the development studios are based in Prague, followed by Brno with 23 percent, Ostrava with five percent, and Olomouc with three percent.