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Tencent Purchases Majority Stake in Klei Entertainment

Klei Entertainment

Chinese conglomerate Tencent has acquired a majority stake in Don’t Starve creator Klei Entertainment.

The acquisition was announced on a Klei Entertainment forum post by company founder Jamie “Bigfoot” Cheng.

“Hello everyone!

I want to take a moment to announce that we have agreed to deal for Tencent to purchase a majority stake in Klei Entertainment.

As part of this agreement, Klei retains full autonomy of creative and operations across all aspects of the studio, including projects, talent, and more.

What’s going to change? 
There are some boring accounting changes that we will need to adjust to. Other than that, I will continue running the studio as before, with no changes to staffing, projects or other operations.

Why are we doing this?
Klei has been around for 15 years, and we have made many changes over the years in order to respond to a changing world. Consistently, my wish has been to enable people 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.

This partnership helps us navigate a changing industry, and helps us focus on what we do best: making unique experiences that no one else can.

Who is Tencent?
Tencent has been in the games industry for many years, investing in companies that produce games such as Path of Exile, League of Legends, PUBG, Clash of Clans, Fortnite, and more.

In 2016, Tencent helped us distribute Klei games in China, with Don’t Starve Together being the  very first game to launch on their WeGame platform. More recently, we’ve been collaborating with them on Don’t Starve: Newhome on mobile.

Why Tencent? 
We looked at a lot of different companies, 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.

We’ve been working with Tencent for years and even at points where we disagreed, they were always willing to work with us to find the best solution for everybody involved and defer to us when we felt strongly.

How does this affect Klei games in China?
As mentioned, we’ve been working with Tencent for quite some time. We worked with them to launch Don’t Starve Together in China in 2016, and have been working with them on our China launches ever since.

Players in China make up a large proportion of the players of our games, and we have been supporting them alongside our North American operation for several years. We don’t expect significant operational changes for China or anywhere else in the world, but we do expect that this partnership will help us to better support our players in China.”

Klei Entertainment is known for their unique animation and games such as Don’t StarveShank, and Mark of the Ninja. Jamie Cheng reassures fans in his announcement that the employees at Klei Entertainment will maintain “full autonomy” and they do not expect “significant operational changes” due to the acquisition.

Tencent is largely known in the west for their ownership of League of Legends developer Riot Games, and partial investment of Epic Games. In recent years, Tencent has begun acquiring smaller developers such as Funcom (Conan Exiles), Marvelous (Story of Seasons, Senran Kagura), and Digital Extremes (Warframe) among others.

Image: IGDB

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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.