Zombie game maker Techland joins Tencent’s global empire in latest acquisition


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Tencent, the world’s largest gaming company, is set to gobble up Techland, the Polish game developer known for open-world zombie games like Dying Light, adding yet another member to its sprawling investment portfolio.

In a letter to players, Techland’s founder and CEO Paweł Marchewka announced that Tencent is in the process of becoming the gaming firm’s majority shareholder. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

“Teaming up with Tencent will allow us to move full speed ahead with the execution of the vision for our games. We have chosen an ally who has already partnered with some of the world’s finest video game companies and helped them reach new heights while respecting their ways of doing things,” he wrote.

In the span of two decades, Tencent has turned itself into a gaming IP and publishing behemoth by investing in and buying studios around the world. Some of the bigger deals it has struck include its full acquisition of Riot Games, the creator of League of Legends; its majority stake in Clash of Clans developer Supercell; becoming the single largest shareholder in Ubisoft, the creator behind Assassin’s Creed; and a stake in Fortnite developer Epic Games as well as PUGB creator Krafton.

The Chinese firm’s investment pace has slowed significantly in recent times, recording just 11 deals in Q1 this year, down from 35 and 34 in the same period during the two preceding years, according to public data gathered by Crunchbase.

Tencent is known for taking a hands-off approach with its gaming portfolio companies, even those that it wholly owns. It probably acknowledges that the creative teams at these Western gaming companies may have very different cultural norms than a Chinese internet giant like itself. By partnering with Tencent, these companies gain an entry point to the world’s second-largest gaming market, while Tencent benefits from the valuable IPs generated by these studios.

Indeed, Pawel reassured the players that Techland “will retain full ownership of our IPs, maintain creative freedom, and continue to operate the way we believe is right.” He will continue serving as the studio’s CEO.

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