Chinese Game Juggernaut Tencent To Acquire “Majority Stake” In Don’t Starve Dev Klei Entertainment

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Following on from Vicarious Visions merging with Blizzard, it’s now been announced Chinese video game giant Tencent – known for titles like League of Legends and Clash of Clans – will acquire a “majority stake” in Klei Entertainment.

If you’re not familiar with this Canadian-based developer, it’s the studio behind games like Don’t Starve and Mark of the Ninja. Klei Entertainment founder, Jaime ‘Bigfoot’ Cheng, says Klei will retain “full autonomy of creative and operations across all aspects of the studio, including projects, talent and more”.

In an FAQ on Klei’s website, Cheng explained there would be no immediate changes in the future to “staffing, projects or other operations”. As for the reason behind this decision, it will allow the studio to “not have to worry about finances”, do their “best creative work” and navigate a changing industry.

“There are some boring accounting changes that we will need to adjust to. Other than that, I will continue running the studio as before, with no changes to staffing, projects or other operations.”

“Klei has been around for 15 years, and we have made many changes over the years in order to respond to a changing world. Consistently, my wish has been to enable people to do their best creative work, to learn and grow, to not have to worry about finances, and be able to enjoy their lives outside the studio. This has not changed.”

“This partnership helps us navigate a changing industry, and helps us focus on what we do best: making unique experiences that no one else can.”

According to a report from Niko Partners via GamesIndustry.biz, Tencent invested in 31 deals related to the games industry last year – a new record for the company. These were a “mix of acquisitions, mergers, minor and major stakes, and funding rounds.”

Some of these deals included a minor stake in PlatinumGames and a 20% stake in Japanese publisher Marvelous. With 2021 just kicking off, who knows what else Tencent could acquire in the coming months.




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