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News video games 23 December 2020, 20:13

author: Michael Kulakowski

Tencent Buys Devs of Warframe and Gears Tactics

Chinese technology giant Tencent has become the owner of the majority of shares in the Hong Kong-based company Leyou. Thus, two western devteams became its property: Warframe devs at Digital Extremes and British studio Splash Damage, responsible for games such as Brink, Dirty Bomb and Gears Tactics.

For a long time we have been reporting on the slow expansion of Tencent in the western digital entertainment market. The Chinese giant uses its huge capital to acquire shares and influence in recognized or promising development studios. It is also willing to grant loans or enter into partnerships with well-known publishers, such as Square Enix. Thanks to the just approved acquisition of the Hong Kong-based company Leyou, which will be completed on December 25, the company will become the owner of Canadian studio Digital Extremes and British team at Splash Damage. Let's add that Leyou was bought for $1.5 billion.

Digital Extremes is, of course, mainly known for Warframe, which it has been developing continuously since 2013. However, it has many more games in its portfolio, mostly ports of existing games and multiplayer modes, in titles such as BioShock 2. There is no doubt that in the long run the acquisition of the studio by Tencent will somehow affect its further operations and the fate of the Warframe IP.

Splash Damage, in turn, is a British developer with 20 years of experience, which specializes in multiplayer games. The team's output includes many games of this type. Among them there is Brink, Dirty Bomb, as well as older hits like Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory. The team also prepared multiplayer modes for Doom 3, Batman: Arkham Origins, Gears of War 4 and Gears 5, worked on the PC version of Halo: The Master Chief Collection, and recently released Gears Tactics together with Microsoft.

Splash Damage's CEO stated in an official statement that Tencent has given the studio complete autonomy within the company's structures, and that the additional resources it will receive will be used to create even better and more ambitious games.

Let's add that until 2016, Leyou, the previous owner of both developers, was active mainly as... producer and seller of poultry meat. Since then, however, the company has undergone restructuring and focused exclusively on video games, with an emphasis on free-to-play titles. The company also includes three other entities: Kingmaker and Radiance Games studios, as well as publisher Athlon Games, which owns the distribution rights to SNK's games and is a partial owner of the output and IPS of the bankrupt Telltale Games.

  1. Leyou - official website
  2. Tencent - official website
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