Tencent have acquired a minority stake in French developer Dontnod Entertainment, granting them a seat on their board of directors.
GamesIndustry.biz reports that Dontnod Entertainment announced they raised €40 million EUR (est. $48.5 million USD) so they may self-publish. This included €30 million EUR (est. $36.3 million USD) from Tencent, granting them a minority stake in Dontnod Entertainment.
In exchange for the deal, Tencent now has a seat on Dontnod Entertainment’s board of directors. Dontnod Entertainment’s CEO and chairman Oskar Guilbert had high praise for the deal, allowing them to thrive in China and on mobile platforms, and improve production speed.
“We are delighted to welcome Tencent as a Dontnod investor, this is a real expression of trust from a key online game leader, which is behind a number of success stories and has invested in several leading companies in the video game industry.”
“Through this partnership, Dontnod is perfectly positioned to take advantage of the various growth drivers in the video game industry, in particular in China and on mobile platforms, in cooperation with an industry leader. The capital increase announced today will enable us to step up and boost the roll-out of our development plan, which aims to capture more value from our original creations by self-publishing more games.”
During an interview with GamesIndustry.biz in November 2020, Guilbert told them he wished for the company to be “as independent as possible.”
Dontnod Entertainment’s first title was Remember Me in 2013. They are best known for Life is Strange, and their subsequent titles include Vampyr, The Awsome Adventures of Captain Spirit, Life is Strange 2, Tell me Why, and Twin Mirror.
Tencent’s portfolio includes becoming the major shareholder for Marvelous in January 2020, 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, a “major investment” in PlatinumGames, and others.
In addition Tencent were also reportedly hiring for five new positions, reserved for industry veterans who have worked on “blockbuster” titles. Alleged hires included former Konami developer Kenichiro Imaizumi (Death Stranding), and Scott Warner (Planescape: Torment, Mercenaries 2: World in Flames, and Halo 4).
Tencent also opened a new game development studio LightSpeed LA. They are working on an open-world AAA PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S game. Recently we saw Tencent become the parent company of Digital Extremes (but insist they will “remain creatively independent”), and purchased a majority stake in Don’t Starve creator Klei Entertainment.
Image: Life is Strange 2 (Steam)