Life is Strange and Tell Me Why developer Dontnod has said it wants to keep its indie roots. And in doing so, the studio has now sold a minority share of itself to Chinese tech company Tencent. This Dontnod Tencent deal means millions of dollars for the studio and a seat on Dontnod’s board of directors for Tencent.
The Tencent Dontnod deal lets the team make more games
Dontnod said it wanted to start self-publishing and needed to raise $48.5 million in order to do so. About 75% of that money — $36.3 million — is coming from Tencent, giving, it a minority stake. Dontnod CEO Oskar Guilbert explained to GamesIndustry.biz how this money will help the studio.
“Through this partnership, Dontnod is perfectly positioned to take advantage of the various growth drivers in the video game industry, in particular in China and on mobile platforms, in cooperation with an industry leader,” he said. “The capital increase announced today will enable us to step up and boost the roll-out of our development plan, which aims to capture more value from our original creations by self-publishing more games.”
Square Enix published the first two Life is Strange games (and the spin-off, Before the Storm, developed by Deck Nine). Capcom published 2013’s Remember Me.
Focus Home Interactive published 2019’s Vampyr. And, most recently, Xbox Game Studios published the tepidly received Tell Me Why, which explains why it hasn’t ended up on other platforms.
That’s a lot of work with a lot of different publishers, which seems to run counter what the studio actually wants to do. Guilbert also told GamesIndustry.biz in November that he wished for the team to be as “independent as possible” and self-publish multiple titles going forward. Getting outside investments is one way to do that and Tencent certainly has deep enough pockets to support such an endeavor. The company has already made investments in other game studios, after all.