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Digital Extremes' Chinese owner stealthily launches new US publisher

Athlon Games based in Burbank, owned by Leyou Technologies, and specialises in free-to-play games

Leyou Technologies has quietly opened a new games publisher in the USA: Athlon Games.

Leyou is perhaps best known for being the China-based manufacturer of chicken products that has been increasingly investing in video games studios.

It has acquired UK studio Splash Damage, Warframe creator Digital Extremes (back when it was known as Sumpo Food Holdings) and a 20% stake in Certain Affinity.

Now it has emerged that Leyou has launched a games publishing division called Athlon Games. The new company was first noticed by a Warframe player and member of the Resetera forums, showing State of California documents about Leyou establishing itself in the Los Angeles area and revealing some of the key employees.

A quick trip to LinkedIn confirms that Athlon Games is "the publishing division of Leyou Technologies Holdings Limited" and is based in Burbank, California, with links to Leyou's offices in London and Beijing.

The company says it "develops and globally publishes free-to-play games for consoles and PC/MAC". The URL www.athlongames.com currently redirects to Leyou Technologies' corporate site, although a logo can be found on a page detailing its games interests.

The new venture is headed up by general manager and head of global publishing Dave Miller - formerly VP of global brand marketing at Warner Bros Interactive Entertainment, where he handled launches such as Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor and Mad Max. Prior to this, he worked at Codemasters and THQ.

Miller seems to have joined when the company first established in December 2017, followed by senior global brand director Craig Mitchell in February 2018. Mitchell is another former marketing exec of Warner Bros, having moved there after six years at THQ.

The only other employee currently listed on Richard Browne, who previously worked at THQ's Core Studios. He joined Athlon in March 2018, taking the role of vice president for production.

GamesIndustry.biz has reached out to Leyou Technologies for more information.

James Batchelor avatar

James Batchelor


James Batchelor has been a journalist in the games industry since 2006, joining GamesIndustry in 2016, and also runs Non-Violent Game of the Day (@NVGOTD). He does play violent games, but always on Story/Easy mode.