Story image

Founded in an Auckland garage, acquired by global colossus

22 May 18

A Kiwi video game developer founded in a New Lynn garage back in 2006 has hit the big time with a majority acquisition from internet giant Tencent.

Grinding Gear Games is known worldwide for ‘Path of Exile’, and hence the company posted the news on the game’s online forum area.

The official amount of the investment from Tencent hasn’t been disclosed but the news is certainly nothing to sneeze at given Tencent’s estimated worth is in the region of $800 billion.

“Our Chinese publisher, Tencent, has acquired a majority stake in Grinding Gear Games. We will remain an independent company and there won't be any big changes to how we operate. We want to reassure the community that this will not affect the development and operations of Path of Exile,” the forum states.

“Grinding Gear Games is still an independently-run company in New Zealand. All of its developers still work for Grinding Gear Games and have not become Tencent employees. The founders (Chris, Jonathan and Erik) are still running the company, just like we have been for the last 11 years. Going forward, we will have financial reporting obligations to Tencent but this will have minimal impact on our philosophy and operations.”

The forum asserts Grinding Gear Games has been approached by many potential acquirers over the years but always felt that they had other agendas.

“Tencent is one of the largest companies in the world and also one of the largest games publishers in the world. Tencent owns giant franchises like League of Legends and Clash of Clans and has a strong reputation for respecting the design decisions of developers and studios they invest in, allowing a high level of autonomy in continuing to operate and develop their games,” the forum states.

“Tencent's agenda is clear: to give us the resources to make Path of Exile as good as it can be.”

Through the forum, the company sought to put its users of Path of Exile at ease by answering the most obvious questions in a Q&A format. Essentially, the company stressed that nothing will be changing from the old business model, Tencent will have no influence in changing the game, and that Grinding Gear Games has some really big plans for future expansion in 2018.