Tencent Purchases Majority Stake in Klei Entertainment

Klei says it will retain its independence after selling a majority stake to Tencent.
Klei says it will retain its independence after selling a majority stake to Tencent. | Photo courtesy of Klei

Chinese multinational conglomerate Tencent has agreed to purchase a majority stake in Klei Entertainment, the studio behind Don't Starve and Oxygen Not Included. Klei founder Jaime "Bigfoot" Cheng announced the deal Friday.

Cheng says the purchase will not affect the studio's day-to-day operations, and that Klei will retain complete autonomy.

"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 said in a post on Klei's forums. "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 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 says Tencent was the only company it's worked with over the years that would allow Klei to retain the level of control it demands. The two companies first worked together in 2016, when they partnered to bring Don't Starve Together to China. It became a huge success as the first game to launch on Tencent's digital games storefront WeGame.

Klei's other games include the tactical stealth game Invisible, Inc. and the criminally underrated Mark of the Ninja. Its most recent title, the roguelike deckbuilder Griftlands, entered early access in 2019.

Tencent has continued to expand into the Western games market. It already owns Riot Games and holds a significant stake in Epic Games, Activision Blizzard, Paradox Interactive, Roblox and plenty of others.