Vancouver-based studio Klei Entertainment has revealed that Chinese video game giant Tencent has acquired a majority stake in the company. The deal was revealed in a forum post shared by Klei founder Jamie Cheng, who provided the reason as to why he decided to sell a significant chunk of his company and what was in store for the developer going forward.
“Klei has been around for 15 years, and we have made many changes over the years in order to respond to a changing world,” Cheng explained. “Consistently, my wish has been to enable people to do their best creative work, to learn and grow, to not have to worry about finances, and be able to enjoy their lives outside the studio. This has not changed.”
“This partnership helps us navigate a changing industry, and helps us focus on what we do best: making unique experiences that no one else can.”
It appears that Klei Entertainment’s deal with Tencent was strictly about money, which is par for the course for these types of business deals. While the news hasn’t been well received by the studio’s long-time fans, Cheng has promised that the studio retains full creative autonomy and will continue to manage all of the IP that it creates.
“There are some boring accounting changes that we will need to adjust to,” Cheng noted. “Other than that, I will continue running the studio as before, with no changes to staffing, projects or other operations.”
Founded in 2005, Klei Entertainment is an independent developer that’s best known for Don’t Starve, a wilderness survival game with a beautiful hand-drawn art style that challenges players to gather resources and craft items to stay alive. The game was later released in China on Tencent’s WeGame platform.