NetEase Invests 120 Million USD into Kepler Interactive, a Publishing Collective that Aims to Empower Developers

Kepler Interactive has received 120 million USD in funding from the Chinese gaming giant NetEase. The company did not disclose further details on the funding but said NetEase would be a minority investor.

Kepler Interactive, based in Singapore and London, is a collective publishing group composed of 7 global developers: A44 Games (New Zealand), Alpha Channel (Canada), Awaceb (France), Ebb Software (Serbia), Shapefarm (Japan), Sloclap (France) and Timberline Studio (US). Kepler Interactive aims to create a channel that puts the developers in the driver’s seat and maintaining their creative independence, while Kepler supports the operations with financial incentives. A model similar to this allowed Sweden’s publishing firm Embracer Group (Formerly Nordic Games Publishing/THQ Nordic) to become Europe’s largest publisher.

The founder behind Kepler Interactive is Alexis Garavaryan, the CEO of Kowloon Nights, a gaming fund that has distributed over 100 million USD to independent game developers. Garavaryan was also a former Tencent executive in the Strategy and Investment department.

Kepler Interactive’s slate of titles in 2022 includes third-person action game Sifu, first-person survival adventure game Scorn, and open-world adventure game Tchia. The partnered studios are mostly focused on PC and console games, but Garavaryan welcomes mobile game and animation studios to join the partnership as well.

NetEase is becoming the most active player in the gaming industry this quarter. It has made vigorous pursuits in the overseas market, spreading its wings to wider audiences amid Beijing’s recent crackdown on China's gaming industry. Only one week ago, NetEase has invested in the Japanese studio Grounding Inc through shareholding.

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