Chinese tech large Tencent will buy a majority stake in Klei Entertainment, the Canadian indie developer behind Don’t Starve, studio founder Jamie Cheng announced Friday on the company’s official forums.
“As part of this agreement,” Cheng wrote, “Klei retains full autonomy of creative and operations across all aspects of the studio, including projects, talent, and more.” Cheng cited “a changing industry” as a significant component in his choice.
Klei was first profiled right here at Polygon in 2013. The firm rose to prominence that very same yr with the discharge of Don’t Starve, a unusual survival recreation with a playful artwork type. The recreation finally developed into Don’t Starve Together, which added multiplayer and different options to the expertise. Cheng based Klei in 2005 in Vancouver, British Columbia; the studio’s different video games embody 2010’s Shank and 2012’s Mark of the Ninja.
Don’t Starve Together is definitely the place Klei’s relationship with Tencent started. In 2016, Klei partnered with the corporate to convey Don’t Starve Together to China, the place the sport has been wildly profitable. Notably, it was the very first recreation to launch on the WeSport platform, Tencent’s equal of Steam.
“We looked at a lot of different companies,” Cheng mentioned within the put up, “and over the years, we’ve worked with a large number of publishers and distributors. Tencent is the only company that we felt would let us retain the level of control that we demand.”
Cheng added that the expertise for gamers in North America ought to be unchanged after Tencent acquires the bulk stake in Klei, whereas these in China will start receiving “better support” because of the buy.
This is much from the primary time that Tencent, the world’s largest distributor of video video games, has made an funding in Western builders and publishers. The large Chinese firm owns Riot Games (League of Legends), and has investments in Epic Games (Fortnite), Activision Blizzard (Call of Duty, World of Warcraft), Paradox Interactive, Roblox, and lots of others. Tencent can also be invested in gaming-adjacent know-how corporations like Discord and Reddit. Revenue from these investments has helped founder “Pony” Ma Huateng grow to be the wealthiest man in China, in accordance with a 2017 report.