Tencent acquires a minority stake in Life is Strange developer Dontnod

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Dontnod, creators of games like Life is Strange, Tell Me Why, and Vampyr, announced today that Chinese tech giant Tencent has acquired a minority stake in the company valued at €30 million. The funds, Dontnod says, will help the indie developer create more games for a worldwide audience across all platforms. At the same time, this investment also includes a new “business cooperation agreement” that CEO Oskar Guilbert says will help Dontnod 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 key thing, obviously, is China. Its gaming industry is the biggest in the world but is extremely challenging for non-Chinese developers to tap into. Due to heavy government regulations, it’s not possible to publish a game in China without partnering with a Chinese company to handle the distribution and operation of said game. That’s exactly why games like World of Warcraft in China are free-to-play while the global version has a subscription, or games like Counter-Strike have versions that are exclusive to Chinese players.

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