Chinese media company Tencent has made a new studio acquisition, buying the parent company, Samfire Inc, of Back 4 Blood developer Turtle Rock, and increasing its massive hold on the gaming industry. Turtle Rock’s studio will continue operating independently in California, but the acquisition is just the latest in Tencent’s ever-growing portfolio.
Back 4 Blood, which many consider a spiritual successor of Turtle Rock’s original Left 4 Dead, is published by WB Games and won’t be impacted by the deal. The Tencent sale was announced via press release, and notes that the studio’s co-founders Phil Robb and Chris Ashton will continue to run the company and keep existing staff.
“Tencent’s outstanding partners, global reach, deep knowledge of gaming and unprecedented support will help us create the kinds of ambitious games we dream of, while allowing us to retain our autonomy and independent spirit,” said Steve Goldstein, Turtle Rock’s president and general manager, in the release.
Tencent’s list of companies includes full ownership of Turtle Rock after the new deal, as well as Funcom, Digital Extremes, and Riot Games. The company is also a major investor across the MMORPG and online gaming space, with significant stakes in Grinding Gear Games, Epic Games, Netmarble, Kakao, Bluehole, and Fatshark. This follows other levels of investments in other companies and publishers like Epic Games, Roblox, and Discord. The assertion that the company will remain creatively independent also follows the same kinds of statements that came after Tencent bought Warframe’s Digital Extremes and the majority ownership in Grinding Gear Games, creators of Path of Exile. With the recent deal made by Funcom to acquire major IP rights, this also makes Tencent the holder, by extension, to the Conan franchise.
Turtle Rock’s own history includes once being owned by Valve and run as Valve South before being closed and reopened as an independent studio. Back 4 Blood received generally good press since its recent October release.