You may have heard of Path of Exile, a role-playing dungeon crawler game developed by Grinding Gear Games, a studio based in New Zealand. The game has gained some popularity due to its free-to-play nature and frequent content updates, but today it's making the news for a different reason.
Grinding Gear Games has announced that Tencent, the Chinese behemoth which has previously acquired the developers of major games such as League of Legends and Clash of Clans, has now invested to own a majority stake in the development studio.
Though this may leave some players worried for the free-to-play nature of Path of Exile and its monetization strategy, the company reassures players many times throughout the announcement that the acquisition will have a "minimal impact" on the game's development.
Will Tencent try to change Path of Exile?No. We spoke to CEOs of other companies that Tencent has invested in, and have been assured that Tencent has never tried to interfere with game design or operations outside of China. We retain full control of Path of Exile and will only make changes that we feel are best for the game.
Will Path of Exile become Pay to Win?
No. We will not make any changes to its monetisation on our international servers.
Tencent was already responsible for publishing the game in China, and now it owns the majority of the development company. The blog post also clarifies that this doesn't mean it will prioritize development of the Chinese version of the game over the international version.
Tencent's investments in gaming have been nothing short of massive. Last year the company announced it would be publishing a free-to-play version of Rocket League in China. It also owns the Chinese publishing rights for PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds and even its own competitor, Fortnite.