Chinese gaming and tech conglomerate Tencent has made another new acquisition this week. Klei Entertainment, the company most well-known for Don’t Starve, has been bought by the Chinese firm. The move was announced on the company forum by founder Jaime Cheng who posted a short Q&A to tell fans about the move.
Klei Entertainment has worked on a ton of popular niche titles, with the likes of Mark of the Ninja, Don’t Starve, Oxygen Not Included, and Griftlands all being fairly successful games. And it looks like that will continue with Tencent’s help. Cheng has said that the move was done in the spirit of allowing the team “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.”
Klei still retains its creative freedom and independent operations as a result of the transaction. Klei has worked with Tencent since 2016 to publish games in China, a consequence of Chinese business laws, and now they can work closely together on all future projects. And as a result of the purchase, Klei has more access to talent, resources and funding to work on future games.
That’s a direct opposite to Blizzard’s recent merger of Vicarious Visions. The latter company was recently absorbed by Blizzard to reportedly work on the unannounced Diablo 2 remaster. That merger has caused quite a stir in the games industry, mostly as Blizzard sacked its all-star Team 1 earlier in 2020. Team 1 had been referred to as the “Classic” team and was responsible for some of the rebirth and maintenance of classic game IPs like Starcraft and Warcraft.
And that’s not all that Tencent owns. The Chinese company has invited billions into the gaming sector internationally. Big names like Riot Games and Epic Games are at the top of the list. Other well-known buys include Activision, Ubisoft, Paradox Interactive and many more. In the last year, Tencent has participated in funding rounds amounting to 249.5 million yuan ($38 million) Another high-profile gaming investment for Tencent came when they acquired Leyou Technology, the owner of Warframe, for $1.5 billion USD.
The company has also made various other investments and acquisitions in the tech space, as it’s a majority holder in WeChat and other companies. They now hold more than 800 portfolio companies, with around 150 of those surpassing $100 million in valuations.