Tencent to Purchase Majority Stake in Don’t Starve, Mark of the Ninja Studio

Tencent has acquired a major stake in Klei Entertainment, according to a recent forum post from the studio head “Bigfoot.”

Klei Entertainment (Don’t Starve, Mark of the Ninja) founder “Bigfoot” made a huge announcement on their official forum: Chinese publisher and distributor Tencent has purchased a majority stake in the studio. The founder further clarified: “As part of this agreement, Klei retains full autonomy of creative and operations across all aspects of the studio, including projects, talent, and more.”

One of the main motivators for the acquisition is financial stability according to the post. “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 partnership helps us navigate a changing industry, and helps us focus on what we do best: making unique experiences that no one else can.”

Another significant factor is that Klei has already been partnered with Tencent for years. Since 2016 the publisher has helped the studio release titles in China, with Don’t Starve Together being the very first game to launch on their WeGame platform. Don’t Starve: Newhome on mobile is their most recent collaboration. And as the founder states, out of every company they’ve worked with in the past Tencent is the only one “that we felt would let us retain the level of control that we demand.”

Back in October 2020 Tencent also purchased a majority stake in 10 Chambers Collective, the development studio behind the co-op horror title GTFO. 10 Chambers Collective was founded in 2015 by nine veterans who had worked on the Payday games. Last year, the studio launched GTFO, a horror game that puts up to four players in an underground complex with the goal of completing tasks and completing all levels in the Rundown.

Don’t Starve‘s many iterations can be found on Nintendo Switch, PC, PS4, and Xbox One. The latest console version, Don’t Starve: Nintendo Switch Edition, will not only feature the original base game but will also offer the Reign of Giants and Shipwrecked expansion packs.