Many consider Digital Extremes, the developer of the free-to-play MMO Warframe, to be a Canadian company, but actually owned by a Hong Kong-based holding company called Leyou. Digital Extremes was acquired by Leyou in 2014 and is pretty far behind when it comes to Warframe’s development.
Leyou wants to quit the gaming business. Over the past year, Leyou has been in talks to sell to iDreamSky, a subsidiary of Tencent, but these talks were canceled thanks to the coronavirus pandemic. Now Sony may be considering making a bid for Leyou’s Warframe and Gears 5 developer Splash Damage.
According to a report by Bloomberg, Sony is meeting with a financial advisor to submit a bid for Leyou Holdings. This offer is expected to be quite high. The number fixed with iDreamSky was over a billion dollars.
Sony has stated that they want to support game IPs entering the next console war. While both Digital Extremes and Splash damage are certainly veteran development studios, their games won’t be exclusive to PlayStation 5. Gears of War is still owned by Microsoft, and Warframe is available on almost every major platform, including Nintendo Switch.
That doesn’t mean that both studios can’t start working on new PlayStation 5 exclusive titles. Digital Extremes has a long history of developing their games with Epic, and Splash Damage has a history of collaboration.
The deal is yet to be finalized, but Sony expects its offer to be compelling given the recent political events in Hong Kong. Sony believes it will buy the Chinese firm thanks to a more reliable source of finance. We don’t think we’ll get any further information about this offer for a while.