Tencent has earned something of a reputation for investing in video game companies, steadily purchasing bits and pieces of Riot Games, Epic Games, and a number of other big-name video game companies. While that hasn't always been a popular move from a consumer side, it looks like that isn't slowing Tencent down, as the company has now acquired a minority stake in Arma developer Bohemia Interactive.
Bohemia Interactive revealed the information in a press release, reassuring fans that it would continue to "operate independently" from Tencent. Apparently, the company hopes to bring its forthcoming PC/Mobile game creation platform Ylands to the Chinese market, working alongside Tencent to do so. However, Bohemia Interactive didn't disclose the exact terms of the investment agreement.
Bohemia Interactive CEO Marek Španěl stated the company is excited to "deepen [its] relationship with Tencent," and that it was looking forward to working on "current and future generations of games with the support of a strong partner that has known us for many years and understands our unique approach to online games."
The partnership between the two companies is by no means mind-blowing, though it does come as something of a surprise. While Bohemia Interactive is well known for titles like Arma and DayZ, Tencent's interests have been focused on higher-profile developers in the past. That's not to say that Arma and DayZ are small-scale titles, as they do have dedicated fanbases, but they are a bit more niche than something like League of Legends, which was developed by Riot Games, a company Tencent has a majority stake in.
With so little known about the deal itself, it's hard to gauge how fans will react to the investment. Some have accused Tencent of scraping user data, allegations that have shaped the company's perception in the US, though it's difficult to say if any of those allegations are true. Last year, some feared that a Trump Administration Executive Order would impact Tencent's US operations, though the company was unaffected.
Tencent has ballooned into a goliath, with its hands involved in countless other companies at this point. In recent weeks, Tencent has been inching towards a $1 trillion valuation, which would mark it as one of the biggest companies in the world, competing directly with the likes of Amazon and Apple in terms of total valuation. If it continues this push, there's no telling where the company could be in a few years, or how many game developers and publishers Tencent could have direct involvement with.
Since Tencent began in 1998, the Chinese technology company has quickly grown into one of the larger multinational conglomerate holding companies in the world of gaming. One of the ways it has grown is by acquiring developers, and Tencent is at it again.
Among many purchases, Tencent is behind the biggest acquisition in gaming history; SuperCell (the team behind Clash of Clans). That purchase went for $8 billion, even more than the recent Microsoft purchase of Zenimax (Bethesda Studios). This newest purchase is a bit smaller but still important.
According to an official forum post, Klei Entertainment has agreed to a deal for Tencent to become the majority owner of the independent game developer. Klei Entertainment is the team behind Mark of the Ninja, Invisible Inc., Hot Lava, and the beloved survival game Don't Starve, among others.
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