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Tencent acquires majority stake in Klei Entertainment

Don't Starve developer will retain "full autonomy of creative and operations"

Klei Entertainment founder Jamie Cheng announced in a forum post today that the studio has agreed to Tencent's purchase of a majority stake in the developer behind Don't Starve, Oxygen Not Included, and Griftlands.

In a forum post, Cheng says Klei will retain "full autonomy," and that there will be no changes to staffing, projects, or other operations.

"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 says. "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 to be able to enjoy their lives outside the studio. This has not changed.

"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."

Last month, Tencent also announced a takeover of Leyou Technologies Holdings, which included Warframe developer Digital Extremes, UK studio Splash Damage, and Athlon Games, which is currently working on a Lord of the Rings MMO with Amazon Game Studios.

Following the takeover, Digital Extremes assured fans that it expects "no changes" to Warframe or how the studio operates, much like Klei's statement today.

Klei Entertainment worked with Tencent to launch Don't Starve Together in China in 2016, and through subsequent Chinese launches since then. Cheng says that while Klei has looked at different companies over the years, Tencent is the only company that would let the studio retain the level of control it demands.

"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," Cheng says.

While Klei does not anticipate significant operational changes, Cheng says it does expect the partnership will help Klei Entertainment better support players in China.