SkyBox Labs

Canadian Based Studio, SkyBox Labs Acquired by NetEase Games

Has previously co-developed on

Not even a week into the new year and were already getting game studio acquisition news as NetEase Games has announced it has acquired Canadian-based developer, SkyBox Labs which includes 200+ employees at its Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada location.

“We are thrilled to welcome SkyBox Labs to the NetEase Games family and are committed to creating an environment that allows them to thrive and operate independently as a game studio. We were impressed with their extensive experience in game development and are great admirers of their past work on some of the world’s leading franchises. We look forward to working with the SkyBox Labs co-founders and providing the resources needed to help them grow their presence in Canada as they continue to support top creators around the world in developing unforgettable gaming experiences for players,” NetEase Games president of global investment and partnerships, Simon Zhu said in a press release.

Business for the Canadian developer will seemingly run as usual with the company continuing to operate as an independent entity under the support of its new owners, its work with existing co-development partners won’t be interrupted as it looks to work on more projects with new partners in the future. For those who don’t recognize the developer’s name, you may recognize their work as SkyBox Labs has co-developed Xbox first-party games like entries in the Age of Empires/Mythology, Halo and Minecraft franchises. Other titles the studio has worked including the very first EA Sports UFC game, Project Spark, Grandia II Anniversary Edition, and original titles (TASTEE: Lethal Tactics and Stela).

SkyBox Labs was formed in 2011 by co-founders, Derek MacNeil, Shyang Kong and Steven Silvester after working together on the FIFA, NBA Live, Need for Speed, and NHL franchises at EA Vancouver from 2004 to 2010. in 2012, Skybox Labs signed a partner studio deal with Microsoft to work on their first-party titles but for whatever reason never outright acquired the Canadian studio before NetEase Games had the chance.

“Over the last decade, we’ve had the pleasure to work on beloved games such as Halo InfiniteMinecraft, and Fallout 76. We remain committed to growing our presence in Canada, supporting our current and future partners, and co-developing more AAA games for some of the biggest game studios around the world. We have built a team of talented individuals who are passionate and creative, and by joining NetEase Games, we will also be able to accelerate our plans to pursue new creative opportunities, and enjoy access to world-class operational resources and the full breadth and depth of NetEase’s services so we can scale faster in Canada,” SkyBox Labs co-founder Shyang Kong in a press release.