Chinese tech giant Tencent buys majority stake in Yaletown-based Klei Entertainment

Klei set to retain full autonomy of creative and operations across all aspects of the studio.

Tencent will purchase a majority stake in Klei Entertainment, according to founder Jamie Cheng. Cheng made the announcement Friday on his company’s official online forum. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

“As part of this agreement, Klei retains full autonomy of creative and operations across all aspects of the studio, including projects, talent, and more,” wrote Cheng.

“I will continue running the studio as before, with no changes to staffing, projects or other operations,” he added.

Klei, which was founded in 2005 in Vancouver, British Columbia, rose to prominence in 2013 with the release of Don’t Starve, a survival game.

Klei’s relationship with Tencent started in 2016 when the companies partnered to successfully bring Don’t Starve Together (an evolution of Don’t Starve) to China.

As to what motivated the deal, Cheng writes:

Klei has been around for 15 years, and we have made many changes over the years in order to respond to a changing world. 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 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.

As to how he settled on Tencent, Cheng says he looked at a lot of companies and “Tencent is the only company that we felt would let us retain the level of control that we demand.”

Read Cheng’s full post here.