Tencent acquires Canadian game studio Inflexion Games
UK-based game developer Improbable announced today that it has sold its majority stake in Canadian game studio Inflexion Games to Tencent.
Aaryn Flynn, CEO of Inflexion, will continue to lead operations as the studio develops its shared-world survival crafting game Nightingale, which will now join the lineup of games supported by Tencent label Level Infinite when it launches in Early Access for PC later in 2022.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but Tencent allowed the game studio to maintain operational independence. “In my experience, good game developers are always willing to have conversations and accept feedback, but there are limits and expectations on that that had to be respected. And we heard that from Tencent,” Flynn tells GamesIndustry.biz.
He adds that Tencent’s track record among the Western studios it has invested in is excellent, and to date the company has been “very respectful” of Inflexion’s design and world-building decisions.
“But at the same time, we recognized in them not just the biggest game development company in the world, but a company that had vast experience in creating compelling live services and engaging player communities, and understanding exactly the culture that’s necessary to go and build that,” Flynn says.
Tencent has accelerated its international expansion through acquisitions since China suspended the licensing of new video games last summer.
In July last year, it agreed to buy British developer Sumo Group for $1.26 billion, then a day later announced its majority stake in Swedish firm Stunlock Studios for an undisclosed amount. Soon after, it opened a new overseas R&D office in Montreal, Canada, and acquired two local gaming companies.
Big gaming firms have made record-breaking investments and mergers and acquisitions in recent years. While Tencent has been one of the most active purchasers of gaming startups, practically every major gaming corporation, from Microsoft to Take-Two, is on the hunt for the next great thing.