Tencent Buys Majority Share In Path Of Exile Creator Grinding Gear Games
On last week's F2P Cast, we joked that Tencent owns a piece of practically everything. That now includes Grinding Gear Games, which now owns approximately 80% of the Path of Exile developer, according to the New Zealand herald.
GGG CEO Chris Wilson took to Reddit to offer up some Q&A's on the deal, which included the usual "nothing will change" and "we're still in control" platitudes, which -- in my experience -- are a coin flip as to whether they're true or not. At the least, Wilson said the schedule of four content updates per year will still continue, with tentative plans for 4.0.0 to enter beta in 2020.
What is certain is that Tencent's been publishing PoE in China since last year's launch, and, with its financial backing, GGG should have the ability to expand and reach an even further audience. That includes increasing staff, according to the NZ Herald, which also quoted Wilson as saying that the company was focusing on Path of Exile but would "love to" make other games.
It's always scary when an outside company acquires your favorite game company. As I said at the time of the Sony Online Entertainment acquisition -- by whomever it was -- it usually doesn't change as much as you'd think. Sure, Daybreak Game Company has fallen on hard times, but Sony Online Entertainment was bleeding money as the time of its acquisition, so, at least in terms of its games (putting aside the question of Russians meddling in the 2016 election), probably not much would have played out different. Look at Tencent's own acquisition of Riot Games; League of Legends is still doing OK, no? And then there's NCSoft/ArenaNet, Activision/Blizzard, and Leyou/Digital Extremes (remember that?), none have which have seemed like predatory relationships.
Granted, yes, there is the other side of things, like Perfect World Entertainment -- which, like the SOE/Daybreak/Columbus Nova stuff, is probably more about buying up weak products that are in trouble to being with -- and just about anything Electronic Arts picks up. But it's pure panic to think that GGG being bought out by Tencent is automatically bad, just because it's a big scary foreign company.
Now, if you don't want to support Tencent/GGG because it's a part of this whole thing, that's another matter entirely...
About the Author
Jason Winter is a veteran gaming journalist, he brings a wide range of experience to MMOBomb, including two years with Beckett Media where he served as the editor of the leading gaming magazine Massive Online Gamer. He has also written professionally for several gaming websites.
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It would be like EA trying to fund their next AAA game on Kickstarter.
It’s trickling over into this industry considering the potential as games have become so popular over the years. I’m just not okay with the growing possibility that a handful of companies will publish and own all the gaming companies in the future.
And if it dose effect GGG's income how will that be dealt with by tencent? because at some stage if it gets bad enough they will feel forced to try save their investment and interfere in the games monetization.
Either that or it gets canned for everywhere but china.