Dec 17, 2021 - Technology

Tencent buys Turtle Rock Studios in its latest Western acquisition

Screencap of gameplay showing four people standing outside a door pointing guns at it
Back 4 Blood. Screenshot: Turtle Rock Studios / Warner Bros. Games

Chinese gaming giant Tencent is buying Turtle Rock Studios, the California-based makers of cooperative multiplayer games Left 4 Dead and Back 4 Blood, the companies announced today.

Why it matters: Based on the math of industry analyst Daniel Ahmad, Tencent has invested in over 100 gaming companies this year, nearly a third outside of China.

  • Most have been minority shares, such as its investment in U.K. studio Playtonic.
  • But in July it announced plans to buy U.K. studio Sumo Digital for more than $1 billion, a purchase that recently cleared regulatory hurdles.
  • Tencent is a mobile powerhouse in China and develops global standouts including mobile and Switch hit Pokémon Unite and Call of Duty Mobile. Going into 2021, it already owned all of League of Legends maker Riot and has a 40% stake in Epic Games.

The big picture: Tencent is setting itself up to be a big player in the PC, console and overall Western gaming market.

  • The company has been beefing up the presence of its TiMi and Lightspeed & Quantum mega-studios in the U.S., and in July opened up a new TiMi studio in Montreal.
  • Earlier this month, Tencent revealed Level Infinite, a publishing label that the company says is "dedicated to delivering high-quality games to a global audience."
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