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Singapore-based Garena buys game studio Phoenix Labs

05 Feb 2020

Southeast Asian internet platform Sea Limited’s entertainment business Garena has bought out Canada-based game studio Phoenix Labs, expanding Garena’s game development assets and global market reach.

Phoenix Labs is behind RPG games such as Dauntless, a free-to-play co-op action RPG available for Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC on the Epic Games store.

Headquartered in Singapore, Garena is a global leading games developer and publisher. It had more than 320 million quarterly active users in the third quarter of 2019. 
Its self-developed title, Free Fire, is one of the world’s most popular mobile games and was the most downloaded mobile game globally in 2019 according to App Annie. Garena was one of

Phoenix Labs’ earliest investors and has supported the growth of the company and the development of Dauntless over the last several years.

“Our partners at Garena have been our most steadfast supporters since the early days of Phoenix Labs, and we are excited to join forces with a global games leader,” says Phoenix Labs CEO and cofounder Jesse Houston. 

“With this next step, we’re able to ensure that we can provide the best possible experience for Dauntless players around the world. We’re extremely excited about what the future holds for Phoenix Labs, as we continue to support our ever-growing Dauntless community and explore future games.”

According to Sea, Garena and Phoenix Labs intend to work together to continue building Phoenix Labs’ world-class development team, supporting the growth of Dauntless, and exploring new opportunities in global markets and on mobile. 

Sea founder and group chief executive officer Forrest Li says the company couldn’t be happier to welcome Phoenix Labs to the Garena family. 

“Over the last few years, we have watched Phoenix Labs mature into one of the best development teams in the business and launch a hugely exciting title in Dauntless. We also know that they share our mission of making great games, creating the best teams, and putting players first. Our skills sets are highly complementary, and we see many exciting opportunities ahead that our teams can explore together.” 

The current management team at Phoenix Labs will continue to run the studio after the acquisition is complete. 

In addition to bolstering Garena’s in-house content creation capabilities, the partnership allows Phoenix Labs to tap into Garena’s global network and unique strengths in mobile games and community building. 

The companies will work together to continue adding new features to Dauntless and explore new growth opportunities in markets such as Asia and Latin America, and on mobile.

Phoenix Labs has a team of more than 100 developers with decades of experience in building games across its offices in Vancouver, Canada, San Francisco, and Seattle, Washington.