Don't Starve dev Klei Entertainment insists it will "retain full autonomy" as Tencent acquires majority stake

Don't Starve
(Image credit: Klei Entertainment)

Chinese megacorp Tencent has acquired a majority stake in Don't Starve indie developer, Klei Entertainment.

In the announcement posted to the studio's official forums, Klei Founder Jamie "Bigfoot" Cheng assured fans that "as part of this agreement, Klei retains full autonomy of creative and operations across all aspects of the studio, including projects, talent, and more," and said that they would "continue running the studio as before, with no changes to staffing, projects, or other operations". 

Cheng reminded players that the teams had already worked together, partnering up to launch Don’t Starve Together in China in 2016, with the studio working with Tencent "ever since".

"Klei has been around for 15 years, and we have made many changes over the years in order to respond to a changing world," Cheng explained (thanks, Gamasutra). "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 has not changed.

"We looked at a lot of different companies, and over the years, we’ve worked with a large number of publishers and distributors. Tencent is the only company that we felt would let us retain the level of control that we demand. We’ve been working with Tencent for years and even at points where we disagreed, they were always willing to work with us to find the best solution for everybody involved and defer to us when we felt strongly.

"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," Cheng added.

Bayonetta and Astral Chain studio Platinum Games accepted an investment from Chinese tech and gaming giant Tencent this time last year, too. In a statement from Platinum Games president Kenichi Sato at the time, the investment was described as a "capital alliance" that won't affect Platinum Games' independence or management structure.

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Vikki Blake
Weekend Reporter, GamesRadar+

Vikki Blake is GamesRadar+'s Weekend Reporter. Vikki works tirelessly to ensure that you have something to read on the days of the week beginning with 'S', and can also be found contributing to outlets including the BBC, Eurogamer, and Vikki also runs a weekly games column at NME, and can be frequently found talking about Destiny 2 and Silent Hill on Twitter.