Indie studios are an important facet of the gaming industry, as they tend to bring forth unique perspectives and memorable artistic visions. However, indie developers sometimes require a little more help in terms of funding and support, and that can be provided by publishers and investors. For Canadian studio Klei Entertainment, that support will come from Chinese gaming juggernaut Tencent, which has acquired a majority stake in the company.
With the likes of Mark of the Ninja, Don’t Starve, Oxygen Not Included, and Griftlands under its belt, the studio has been very successful in the indie space. With the entry of Tencent’s investment, they can do even more moving forward. According to founder Jaime Cheng, this will help the studio focus its efforts on making more games. Distractions like funding and other standard game development issues will be less concerning.
More importantly, Klei still retains its creative freedom and operations. This includes current projects, talents and more. Certain administrative changes will come into play, but that is not exactly a pressing concern. Cheng will still be running the studio as per normal. Klei Entertainment remains as it is, even with Tencent’s investment.
Safe and sound
Having worked with Tencent for all of its game releases in China, Klei Entertainment certainly felt comfortable with the investment. In fact, Cheng stated that only Tencent appears to allow the team the freedom it needed. While nothing will likely change for players around the world, it is likely that better support will come for Chinese players.
Of course, Klei Entertainment is not the only gaming entity Tencent has a hand in. The Chinese tech conglomerate owns Riot Games and has a substantial stake in Epic Games. It also invested in the likes of Activision, Ubisoft, Paradox Interactive, and many more. The company also recently acquired Leyou Technology, the owner of Warframe, for $1.5 billion USD.
2021 only just started, but Tencent has already made its first move. This is a sight we should all grow familiar with.