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Tencent Takes Majority Stake in Stunlock Studios

Tencent Takes Majority Stake in Stunlock Studios - News

by William D'Angelo , posted on 19 July 2021 / 1,324 Views

Stunlock Studios and Tencent Holdings has announced Tencent has become the majority shareholder in Stunlock. This gives the studio access to Tencent's experience in the game industry and development tools. 

Stunlock will keep its identity and corporate structure. The two companies have worked together since 2015 with the launch of Battlerite in China. Tencent acquired a minority stake in Stunlock in 2019. The studio will continue to develop games independently, while getting the backing by Tencent's strategic support.

"It’s an honor to represent the biggest game company in the world from the small town of Skövde, Sweden," said said Stunlock Studios CEO, Rickard Frisegård.

"Tencent’s new investment shows a great deal of trust in us delivering quality titles with our focus on gameplay first. It will give us the opportunity to realize our grand vision for V Rising, our current game in development, and help us in future ventures, expanding long-term as a studio."

CEO of Tencent Games Global Michelle Liu added, "We’ve known – and been highly impressed by – Stunlock for a long time. We continue to look to partner with the most-talented development teams in the world to bring the best-quality games to the industry."

Stunlock Studios has around 30 employees and is known for the arena brawler, Battlerite, which has more than 6.5 million unique players. It has topped the free-to-play games list on Steam several times. 

The studio is currently working on the Vampire Survival game, V Rising.

A life-long and avid gamer, William D'Angelo was first introduced to VGChartz in 2007. After years of supporting the site, he was brought on in 2010 as a junior analyst, working his way up to lead analyst in 2012. He has expanded his involvement in the gaming community by producing content on his own YouTube channel and Twitch channel dedicated to gaming Let's Plays and tutorials. You can contact the author at or on Twitter @TrunksWD.

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Walbert (on 19 July 2021)

Don't buy the any games from this studio, not unless you want you personal data in the hands of the CCP.

  • +9
Bristow9091 (on 19 July 2021)

Tencent all over the place lately... o.O

  • +1
trunkswd Bristow9091 (on 19 July 2021)

Consolidation in the games industry continues. Tencent and Embracer have been making a ton of acquisitions lately.

  • +2
VAMatt trunkswd (on 19 July 2021)

Don't forget about Microsoft.

  • +9
trunkswd VAMatt (on 19 July 2021)

Yes and Microsoft. Though their number of acquisitions isn't close to Tencent or Embracer.

  • +1
Mnementh trunkswd (on 19 July 2021)

Well, MS acquired Obsidian, inXile, Double Fine, Mojang, Playground, Ninja Theories... do I forget something?

  • +3
SanAndreasX trunkswd (on 19 July 2021)

I agree with Mnemeth. Microsoft's acquisition of a bunch of mid-sized to large studios is easily on par with Tencent or Embracer, especially when you consider that Microsoft is also a platform holder. Regardless, these consolidations are not a good thing.

It looks like Tencent had a big antitrust judgement handed down against it in China back in April. Looks like more of a money grab by the Chinese government than anything meaningful, and I doubt the Chinese government cares if Tencent buys up a bunch of foreign companies.

  • +1
Pemalite (on 19 July 2021)

Tencent might end up in a position where it has the studios, resources and revenue to support a console platform if they can't already?

  • 0
SvenTheTurkey Pemalite (on 19 July 2021)

It's not always necessarily about quantity though. They need to be the right games to have a killer app.

And most software companies don't want to get involved with a hardware platform. Yes, the profits are higher than software alone, but there are more risks and hurdles than a company like tencent wants to deal with.

They would rather stay platform agnostic due to the mobility. Put your games where the audience exists rather than try to build an audience.

They could definitely foot the bill for a console already though.

  • 0
Azzanation (on 19 July 2021)

They are on a roll

  • 0
SvenTheTurkey Azzanation (on 19 July 2021)

Unfortunately. Tencent really worries me. Deep pockets and tons of consolidation. It always eventually leads to keeping the intellectual property and throwing out the studios.

  • +5
mjk45 SvenTheTurkey (on 20 July 2021)

With these small studio acquisitions, because they aren't paying out for large teams , and the games tend to be online focused , the ability to successfully follow certain popular genre stylings and make a game that can hold an audience is becoming more valued than the IP itself and it's becoming more and more about investing in small studios and then buying them out if they gain an active online audience, milk it rake in the money while it's hot rinse and repeat

  • 0
SvenTheTurkey mjk45 (on 20 July 2021)

Yeah. And then eject the team that made the money in the first place. Not because they're a financial burden but because they aren't making "enough" profit.

  • +1