Chinese megacorp Tencent is acquiring a majority stake in Dying Light developer Techland, joining the company’s steadily growing portfolio of Western game developers where it has made significant investments and outright acquisitions.
“Tencent is currently in the process of becoming Techland’s majority shareholder,” Techland founder and CEO Pawel Marchewka said in the announcement post. “Teaming up with Tencent will allow us to move full speed ahead with the execution of the vision for our games. We have chosen an ally who has already partnered with some of the world’s finest video game companies and helped them reach new heights while respecting their ways of doing things.”
Staying on as CEO, Marchewka asserts that Techland will still have ownership of its IP, have creative freedom and continue to work in “the way we believe is right.”
Of course, all of that can only be said if Tencent don’t have 100% ownership, but still a controlling interest in the company. They could still sell their stake to another investor, and they could also complete a takeover by snapping up the remaining shares from those willing to sell.
Tencent has invested in plenty of Western video games companies over the years. They have full ownership of League of Legends developer Riot Games, owns UK developer Sumo Group since 2022, grabbed Turtle Rock in 2021, own Funcom, and have “Majority” stakes in Klei Entertainment, Fatshark, Miniclip, Yager Development, and others. There’s also smaller holdings in Remedy, Paradox, Ubisoft, Frontier and more.
Basically, they’ve got a lot of fingers in a lot of pies, and there’s plenty of wariness and fears over the potential effects of Chinese influence on Western companies.
For Techland, though, it’s an influx of cash and investment that will help them further the Dying Light franchise. Marchewka said, “We dream of turning Dying Light into the ultimate zombie game experience for players worldwide, providing you with multiple astonishing adventures and pushing the boundaries of solo and online modes to a totally new level. Our open world action–RPG in a fantasy setting is already shaping up to become something truly special, and the goal here is to make sure it will live up to the expectations for our first new IP in almost a decade.
“Can we make these dreams come true? Yes, we can. But what we realized is that the best, boldest dreams can only be achieved while working side-by-side with like-minded friends and strong partners, who share the same vision, passion, and have the willingness to back it up with their knowledge, experience, and capabilities.”
After a good few delays, Dying Light 2 launched in early 2022. In our Dying Light 2 review, we scored the game a 7/10 saying:
Dying Light 2 expands and refines a formula Techland has been peddling since its breakout success with Dead Island. This sequel learns a lot from modern open world video games, its massive, zombie-infested sandbox rarely feeling empty, especially as you breeze through city blocks with a Mirror’s Edge-like finesse. However, Dying Light 2 inherits the same problems – a dull story, tiresome combat, and character progression that’s a tad too sluggish.