Chinese mega-conglomerate Tencent has purchased a minority stake in French developer Dontnod (Life Is Strange, Vampyr), pumping €30 million EUR into the company as part of the developer’s efforts to raise €40 million to move into self-publishing.
Dontnod’s first effort in self-publishing occurred at the end of last year with their detective adventure Twin Mirror (Bandai Namco was enlisted to help distribute the console version). But CEO Oskar Guilbert has plans to keep the studio self-publishing. In an interview last year with Gamesindustry.biz, he made it clear he’s looking at the company as a brand, not simply as a studio. “For us, it’s not about Life is Strange or Tell Me Why or Vampyr or Remember Me, even if we are very proud of all those games,” he said. “What is important for us is the Dontnod brand. That’s what we want to push in the future.”
As for Tencent’s investment, Guilbert’s statements were effusive. “We are delighted to welcome Tencent as a Dontnod investor,” he said. “Through this partnership, Dontnod is perfectly positioned to take advantage of the various growth drivers in the video game industry, in particular in China and on mobile platforms, in cooperation with an industry leader. The capital increase announced today will enable us to step up and boost the roll-out of our development plan, which aims to capture more value from our original creations by self-publishing more games.”
Tencent recently purchased a majority stake in Canadian developer Klei Entertainment (Don’t Starve) last week. Over the course of the last year, the company has made 31 different investments and acquisitions in the video games industry. There has not been a specific comment from Tencent regarding this latest investment at the present time. The size of the stake will allow Tencent to fill one seat on the company’s board of directors.