Tencent Holdings Makes Strategic Investment in Skydance Media

Tencent's investment will see Skydance content coming to China.

Skydance Media is a company that has its fingers in plenty of pies. Not content with specialising simply on traditional or interactive entertainment, Skydance produces content for television, cinema, interactive media platforms and of course, virtual reality (VR). Skydance’s success hasn’t gone unnoticed either, as Tencent Holdings, a leading provider of online services in China and Asia, have now made a strategic investment in Skydance Media, hoping the expertise of the two companies will result in better visibility for Skydance products in Asia, as well as some healthy returns for Tencent too, naturally.

Tencent have been busy investing in a variety of media companies, including videogame development studios. Last year we saw Tencent make a bold investment in Milky Tea, a UK studio. Before even that Tencent decided to put their faith in yet another UK developer, when Cambridge based Frontier Developments received £17.7 million (GBP).

The new partnership between Tencent and Skydance will give Tencent the opportunity to co-dinance Skydance productions, as well as market and distribute the content and merchandise in China. Right now the focus is on upcoming Skydance films, including Mission: Impossible, Gemini Man, Terminator and two animated movies, Luck and Split. The productions have big names such as Tom Cruise, Will Smith, Ang Lee and James Cameron attached, so it’s already a promising start to the partnership.

David Ellison is founder and chief executive officer of Skydance Media, and speaks about the company’s expansion since 2010, and their bright future; “We are thrilled and honored to be entering into a strategic partnership with Tencent, whose global reach and position within the Chinese marketplace is truly unmatched. Skydance has experienced a tremendous amount of growth since our inception in 2010, and we’re excited that our next phase of expansion will be in partnership with a company that shares our vision for where entertainment is heading.”

Tencent’s own James Mitchell, chief strategy officer, also feels like the new partnership will mean great things in the Chinese market; “Skydance is nurturing successful entertainment franchises, especially in the action and science fiction genres, which are particularly popular in China. We believe this partnership will support Skydance’s expansion internationally, across media and into television production, and provide Tencent with attractive content that we can share with China consumers.”

Skydance also develop VR videogames and software, which no doubt was yet another factor which led Tencent to invest in the company. We interviewed Skydance on their ambitious Archangel project.

The future looks bright for Skydance as it seems a much wider audience will have access to their content in the future, and Tencent are surely pleased with the rights to publishing a variety of content for strong, recognisable licenses. For all of the latest business developments happening with VR studios on a global scale, make sure to keep reading VRFocus.

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