The conglomerate Tencent has bought Leyou Technologies for a staggering $1.5 billion. Tencent has been a track record of acquiring many studios and owns shares of many game studios you know. Leyou Technologies own Digital Extremes, the creators of Warframe.
Leyou wasn’t’ always a successful video game investing company. Back in 2014, they pivoted from a chicken processing company to owning a majority stake in Digital Extremes. The decision definitely paid off as Tencent handed over a handsome sum of cash for the acquisition.
After the Digital Extreme investment, Leyou went on to buy a 20% stake in Certain Affinity. Certain Affinity has worked on Call of Duty: Modern Warfare and Halo Infinite. Wait, there’s more! Leyou established Athlon Games which is currently working hard on a Lord of the Rings MMO in partnership with Amazon.
Although you may not be familiar with Leyou if you don’t keep up with investment groups, Leyou has a hand in many popular developers including full ownership of Riot Games. Not to mention, it owns a little under 50% of Epic Games and has its hands in Activision, Paradox Interactive, Ubisoft, and many more developers.
If you’re worried about Digital Extreme’s creative practices, don’t be. Digital Extremes was clear to Tencent they wanted to maintain its independent development. Tencent apparently has no issues with this.
Yes, we will continue to create great content for Warframe and we will remain creatively independent. Our focus will remain on listening to you, our community, upgrading Warframe based on your feedback, and developing the kind of great stories, gameplay, and incredible new space ninja action you’ve come to expect from us. Tencent is well known for respecting the creative decisions and integrity of its studios, and for giving them the autonomy and independence to experiment, innovate and thrive.
Epic Games has gone on record stating how Tecent hasn’t been overbearing or had any impact on its development practices. It seems like Tencent is just out to own these companies and not interfere with what the developers do best.
Tencent has become so big that the U.S. government has started to take notice. However, as of now, it appears Tencent is just aiming to grow as any company would. Tencent has helped many developers get the funding they need to grow.
We’re excited to see how the acquisition of Leyou will impact Warframe and Digital Extremes. If nothing changes, that’s also good. Digital Extremes has done a great job growing Warframe into one of the most popular F2P games on Steam.
Tencent wasn’t the only company that was interested in acquiring the Warframe developers. Sony and some other large publishers were thinking about it but Leyou shareholders signed off on the acquisition on December 11th and finalized December 23rd.
Leyou Technologies wasn’t always a successful investor in video game developers. Weirdly enough, they started as a chicken processing company that decided to vastly diversify its portfolio. In 2014, Leyou committed to a majority stake in Digital Extremes. That was quite the executive decision to pivot completely to a new way of operating business.
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