Turtle Rock Studios is the latest independent developer to have been snapped up by Tencent. The Chinese conglomerate has made a years-long trail through the games industry, buying up many studios. The Business Wire has reported that the Chinese Conglomerate Tencent has acquired the developer as part of an ongoing merger agreement.
The studio will retain its base of operations in Lake Forest, California, and is to remain independent. Co-founders Phil Robb and Chris Ashton will still lead the studio and make decisions for current and future projects. Tencent for their investment gets a share of the profits. This has been the style of deal that Tencent has pushed for with many other teams.
The move comes after the pretty successful Back 4 Blood helped pushed the studio to prominence. Back 4 Blood is a four-player cooperative shooter in the vein of Left4Dead that sees players working together to survive hordes of monsters and the undead. By modernizing the gameplay and visuals, Turtle Rock found immediate bursts of popularity online. The team will continue to add new content heading into 2022, hoping to capitalize on the growing success and new funding.
Turtle Rock was originally purchased by Valve after its founding, with a deal turning the company into Valve South in 2008. The company later split from Valve in 2010 due to issues with both staffing up and communication. The company restarted under the Turtle Rock brand and has operated under it ever since. The company ran into hot water with the eventual failure of the asymmetrical multiplayer title, Evolve. It would seem that they have managed to bounce back pretty well.
But what about Tencent, What does their future hold? Probably many more acquisitions. This buyout of Turtle Rock Studios is just the latest of many similar deals. Other acquisitions include Yager, the team behind Spec Ops: The Line. And that’s not all, as Tencent has also grabbed DONTNOD and Klei Entertainment in other deals. These various acquisitions carve a very clear path of diversification and interest in the gaming industry for the Chinese company. They have also made inroads into the other media with similar moves in technology, film and animation.