Tencent Purchases Majority Stake in Klei Entertainment

Chinese Gaming Conglomerate Tencent Acquires Majority Stake in Don't Starve Developer

Published: January 22, 2021 2:20 PM /


Klei Entertainment Tencent investment Don't Starve cover

Chinese gaming conglomerate Tencent has acquired a majority stake in Don't Starve developer Klei Entertainment, the developer announced today.

Don't Starve is a colorful permadeath game where you're tasked with staying alive as long as possible (hence the name). It was successful enough that its creator was able to develop several over projects in the last decade, most recently Oxygen Not Included and Griftlands. Now, Klei has made the announcement that Tencent has made a significant investment in the company.

Klei Entertainment Tencent investment Don't Starve slice

What Tencent's Investment Means for Klei Entertainment and Don't Starve

The Tencent Investment in Klei Entertainment may be worrying for some fans. Worry not — it looks like Tencent is quite content to let Klei continue with their work unhindered.

"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." – Klei Entertainment Founder Jaime "Bigfoot" Cheng

According to today's announcement (via Reddit), Klei has agreed to a deal that will allow Tencent to purchase a majority stake in the company. Owning a majority stake would normally mean that Tencent effectively has control over all operations, but the company's founder Jaime "Bigfoot" Cheng states that there is an agreement in place that effectively ensures business as usual.

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

Tencent has been investing in more and more tech and gaming companies over the last few years. It became the largest shareholder of the Story of Seasons publisher Marvelous back in May 2020. More recently, it invested in Conan Exiles developer Funcom, a company that is currently working on a game based on Frank Herbert's Dune; the investment from Tencent was significant enough that it allowed the game to greatly expand its scope.

A relationship between Tencent and Klei has existed since 2016 when the two companies worked together to bring the company's games to China, the first of which was their multiplayer title Don't Starve Together. Klei says that Chinese players "make up a large proportion of the players of our games."

"We're still going to be managing all the IP that Klei creates," Cheng added. "If anything, Tencent has shown real respect to us and consistently deferred to us in what and how to present our work, which is one of the reasons we chose them as our partner."

What do you think of Tencent acquiring a majority stake in Klei Entertainment? What's your favorite game from Klei to date? Let us know in the comments below!

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