December 7, 2021

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Tencent Acquires Minority Stake In Yooka-Laylee Dev

Chinese holdings company Tencent has acquired a minority stake in the developer behind the Yooka-Laylee, Playtonic Games. This news was announced via Playtonic’s official website, though the terms of said deal were not disclosed in their post.

According to Playtonic’s post, this will allow the developer to increase from their current one-team structure to a multi-team, multi-game model. As part of this, it is stated, they will be able to upgrade and expand their HQ, located in Derby, England, as well as expand to new locations.

It is stated through the post that:

Six years ago we built a cool, exciting rocket ship, set a course we think is right and exciting.  We are thrilled that Tencent agrees with that course and has provided some rocket fuel to further the reach of our mission!

Playtonic was founded in 2014 with developers that had previously all worked at Rare. Their first game, which was entitled “Project Ukelele” at the time, was kickstarted and eventually called Yooka-Laylee. The game was intended to play as a spiritual successor to Banjo-Kazooie.

Tencent has been well known to acquire minority stakes in companies having previously done so with Dontnod, Bohmian Interactive, Remedy Entertainment, and Voodoo to name a few. The company has also been on a spending spree when it comes to purchasing companies, having acquired Sumo Group this year for a little over a billion dollars.

Tencent has been attempting to broach Western markets in a more meaningful way. Tencent has several studios now located in North America developing AAA games, and a AAA spin-off of their popular mobile game, Honor of Kings: World in development. Due to restrictive laws passed in China aimed at video games both Tencent and its primary rival NetEase have been attempting rapid expansion into outside markets.

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