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Tencent Reportedly Hiring International Talent for ‘Blockbuster’ Projects, Includes Kenichiro Imaizumi and Scott Warner

Kenichiro Imaizumi Scott Warner

Chinese conglomerate Tencent is reportedly hiring for five new positions, reserved for industry veterans who have worked on “blockbuster” titles.

According to the South China Morning Post (which is based in Hong Kong, and owned by the Alibaba Group of Hangzhou), Tencent is aiming to expand its influence in international games markets by hiring industry veterans.

Alleged recent hires include former Konami developer Kenichiro Imaizumi who recently worked on Death Stranding as part of Kojima Productions; and Scott Warner whose previous works include Planescape: Torment, Mercenaries 2: World in Flames, and Halo 4.

“I am moving on to a new role,” Warner tweeted. “I’ll be the studio director of a new AAA operation in North America for Tencent. We will be hiring for all disciplines at all levels so reach out to me for details.” As of this time of writing, there has been no statement on Imaizumi’s Twitter account.

According to a Tencent spokeswoman (via South Chinese Morning Press), Kenichiro Imaizumi will be joining Tencent Games as a production director. Meanwhile Scott Warner will be joining Tencent’s North American studio TiMi Games whose recent releases include Call of Duty Mobile and Honor of Kings.

Scott Warner additionally explained that as Studio Director at TiMi Games he would be “definitely be looking for and putting a priority on trying to find diverse candidates” for the studio’s upcoming projects.

Tencent has been reportedly trying to increase their influence in the western market and aim to have at least half of their revenue come from outside of China within the near future. The attempt to add industry veterans to their staff reflects their efforts in trying to break into the triple-A gaming scene.

Tencent’s expansion into western markets seems to be partially motivated by a decline in domestic growth, due in part to strict regulations on video games by Chinese authorities [1, 2, 3]. In 2018 Tencent lost an estimated $20 billion USD in market value, after the Chinese Ministry of Education recommended fewer game approvals.

Though its goal of fifty percent revenue from non-Chinese sources is only halfway there, with Tencent reporting only 23% of its online revenue was from outside of the country.

As of January, 2020 Tencent has 100% ownership of Riot Games, 80% of Grinding Gear Games, 40% in Epic Games, 29% in Funcom, 5% in Activision Blizzard, 5% in Ubisoft, 5% in Paradox Interactive, and others. OtherSide Entertainment also recently announced that Tencent “will be taking the [System Shock] franchise forward.”

Image: Twitter [1, 2]

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Brandon Lyttle

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A basement-dwelling ogre, Brandon's a fan of indie games and slice of life anime. Has too many games and not enough time.