Chinese gaming giant Tencent has acquired a majority stake in Grinding Gear Games, the New Zealand-based studio behind online action RPG Path of Exile.
The developer announced the acquisition in a forum Q&A designer to assure its community that the move will not significantly impact their experience playing the game.
"We will remain an independent company and there won't be any big changes to how we operate," the studio wrote. "We want to reassure the community that this will not affect the development or operations of Path of Exile."
Elaborating further, Grinding Gear insisted that it has lost none of its staff, and that no one at the studio has become a Tencent employee. Grinding Gear will of course have "financial reporting obligations" to Tencent, but the Chinese behemoth has assured its co-founders it has "never tried to interfere with game design or operations outside of China."
"We retain full control of Path of Exile and will only make changes that we feel are best for the game," the Q&A continues, adding that Path of Exile will not be adding microtransations to its international servers.
The only major impact Grinding Gear expects to see is that, with Tencent's resources, it will be able to close the gap between adding new features and content from the international version to the Chinese one. But the studio stressed it is "not planning to prioritise the Chinese version of Path of Exile ahead of the international version."
This acquisition adds yet another studio to Tencent's growing games portfolio. The firm already has ownership of Riot Games and MiniClip, as well as varying stakes in Supercell, Epic Games, Netmarble, Glu Mobile, Activision Blizzard and PUBG developer Bluehole.
Earlier this year, Tencent purchased a five per cent stake in Ubisoft, thus helping to free the publisher from a hostile takeover by Vivendi.