Tencent Scoops Up Gears Tactics And Warframe Devs In Leyou Acquisition

Digital Extremes and Splash Damage are now under the Chinese media giant.


Chinese media conglomerate Tencent has picked up two more developers after acquiring the Hong Kong-based video game company Leyou: Warframe developer Digital Extremes and Splash Damage, the studio best known for Brink, co-creating Gears 5's multiplayer and Gears Tactics with The Coalition, and the PC version of Halo: The Master Chief Collection.

Both Digital Extremes and Splash Damage released statements about the acquisition, saying business at each studio will continue as usual. The studios will remain independent entities within Tencent, letting them leverage the giant's resources to bolster development efforts.

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"One of our core pillars is transparency and so we’d like to let you know what that means: We will remain creatively independent, we expect no changes to Warframe or how our studio operates, and we will remain as dedicated ever to you, the community, who has been with us every step of the way since we launched Warframe," Digital Extremes said about the acquisition.

Splash Damage's co-founder and CEO Richard Jolly echoed the sentiment, saying the studio is excited about what the future holds under this new partnership.

"This is going to be a bold new phase for our studio, with an amazing line-up of ambitious games that deliver on what Splash Damage is all about. We couldn’t be more excited," Jolly said about the buyout.

Leyou, which started out as a part of the Chinese chicken meat supplier Sumpo Food, owns five subsidiaries: Samurai Shodown publisher Athlon Games, Digital Extremes, free-to-play developer Kingmaker, online game maker Radiance, and Splash Damage. Leyou also has a 20% stake in Crimson Alliance developer and Halo Infinite co-creator Certain Affinity.

This purchase solidifies talks that have been simmering for months. Tencent was previously interested in acquiring Leyou back in July 2020, dodging a possible buyout from Sony.

Tencent has been dropping plenty of cash all year, acquiring multiple studios over the course of 2020 alone. This includes GTFO developer 10 Chambers, Dead Island 2 creator Sumo Group, mobile game developer Voodoo, and Spec Ops: The Line studio Yager Development.

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