Tencent acquires majority of shares at Path of Exile development studio

Tencent has acquired a majority share in the studio behind RPG hit Path of Exile.

Tencent, the world's single-largest gaming company by revenue, acquired 80 percent of New Zealand/based game studio Grinding Gear Games (GGG) on May 21. The developer's largest success, Path of Exile, has been distributed by Tencent in China since 2016.

Despite the acquisition, however, GGG lead developer Chris Wilson wrote that the company would still have the same creative freedoms its enjoyed previously.

"Tencent is one of the largest companies in the world and also one of the largest games publishers in the world," Wilson wrote in a press release. "Tencent owns giant franchises like League of Legends and Clash of Clans and has a strong reputation for respecting the design decisions of developers and studios they invest in, allowing a high level of autonomy in continuing to operate and develop their games."

The press release reiterates that GGG is still an independently run company, and that it will not be expected to drastically alter its product in order to please Tencent. The one area where Grinding Gears will be forced to compromise with its new owners appears to be solely in regards to the Chinese version of the game.

Tencent has an extensive portfolio of gaming properties, as well as tons of other companies in the computing and telecoms sectors. Aside from GGG, Tencent is also a majority shareholder of Riot Games, mobile gaming developer SuperCell, and owns 40 percent of Epic Games.

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