Tencent has been on a real acquisition tear over the last few years. The latest buyout gives the Chinese company a controlling stake in Spec Ops: The Line developer, Yager. Other acquisitions include Dontnod, the well-known adventure game creator. The conglomerate also acquired a stake in the parent company of Digital Extremes. Tencent looks to be positioned to make further investments in 2021 as they developer the range of their portfolio.
Tencent previously made moves in early 2020 to this end, but has now acquired the controlling stake in the company. With this latest acquisition, the total number of gaming investments and purchases by Tencent numbers over 300.
According to Yager CEO Timo Ulmann, the initial February investment “greatly enhance[d] the scope of our business, not just by getting access to Tencent’s network and resources but by tapping the vast industry know-how Tencent possesses.” The goal seems to be to allow Yager to get access to more capital for further expansions and new projects. Yager will direct Tencent’s resources toward the development of their upcoming free-to-play game The Cycle for now.
Yager plans to remain independent, easing fan concerns over compromise and restructuring As of now, there are now plans for internal shuffling at the developer. Ulmann also noted that the move will allow the company a bit more leeway with employees in terms of job security and possibly wages. The purse strings could get a little looser and allow for a better work environment, which is great.
There does remain one bugbear, and that’s concern over the ever-growing corporate consolidation within the games industry. More and more, big money is swooping in and hoovering up talented developers, only to burn them out. This isn’t unique to China either. Electronic Arts and 2K have both become a worrisome example of this trend as well.