While the Chinese gaming giant will own part of the Derby-based company, which is the developer of Yooka-Laylee and its sequel Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair, Playtonic said it will retain full creative control over its IP.
The studio will use Tencent’s investment to expand from a single team to multiple teams, with “an emphasis on hiring diverse talent from near and afar, improving their HQ [and] looking to expand in new locations”.
Earlier this year, Playtonic also set up its own publishing label called Playtonic Friends, which has already published A Little Golf Journey, Demon Turf and the console version of BPM: Bullets Per Minute.
Demon Turf trailer
“Six years ago we built a cool, exciting rocket ship, set a course we think is right and exciting,” said Playtonic founder Gavin Price.
“We are thrilled that Tencent agrees with that course and has provided some rocket fuel to further the reach of our mission.”
He added: “With Tencent’s help we can scale up and fast-track the super-exciting, super-secret projects we’ve been keeping close to our treasure chests too. Things are going to get Bat Ship Crazy over the next few years! Please imagine a wink emoji right now.”
The team has already started its next step by hiring Danny Spiteri, formerly of Team17, as head of publishing.
Spiteri’s appointment will see him focusing on publishing new games under the Playtonic Friends label, allowing Price and executive producer Andy Wilson to focus on development again with the main Playtonic team.
The minority stake acquisition of Playtonic is the latest in a line of high-profile deals made by Tencent, which has already invested in more than 800 firms and is one of the biggest companies in the world by market value.
In July it announced its intention to fully acquire another British studio, Sumo, in a $1.27 billion deal.
As well as owning League of Legends maker Riot Games, it also has a 40% stake in Epic Games and holds shares in Activision Blizzard, Ubisoft, PUBG Studios parent company Krafton, PlatinumGames, and Marvelous Inc.