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Tencent acquires Turtle Rock Studios, developer of Back 4 Blood

Tencent announced the acquisition of Slamfire Inc, the parent company of California developer Turtle Rock Studios. The team were known for their cooperative zombie shooter games like the Left 4 Dead series and the more recent Back 4 Blood.

Turtle Rock will be part of the Chinese giant while “retaining its independent operations” in Lake Forest, California. The acquisition will have no effect on the development of Back 4 Blood published by WB Games and any updates to come. Management won’t see any changes either, with co-founders Phil Robb and Chris Ashton continuing to guide the existing team.

“We are all looking forward to joining the Tencent studio family,” said Steve Goldstein, President and CEO of Turtle Rock Studios. “Tencent’s exceptional partners, global reach, deep game knowledge and unprecedented support will help us create the kinds of ambitious games we dream of while allowing us to maintain our autonomy and independence.”

Joining the Tencent family would give Turtle Rock access to vast resources and expertise and ultimately transform their world into a “true long-standing AAA franchise”. The studio also plans to expand Back 4 Blood and create new multiplayer experiences in the future.

According to Daniel Ahmad, senior analyst at Niko Partners, in 2021, Tencent acquired or invested in more than 100 video game-related companies, with around 30% of deals done outside of China. “It’s basically 1 every 3 days,” he added.

In the past year, even Sony has acquired 5 developers, including Bluepoint Games, known for their PlayStation exclusive remakes, namely Shadow of the Colossus and the newest remake of Demon’s Souls. They also acquired Valkyrie Entertainment, a studio known for its external support work on titles such as God of War (2018) and Halo Infinite.