Tencent have bought a majority stake in Tequila Works, the developers of Rime, Deadlight, The Sexy Brutale, and forthcoming League Of Legends tie-in Song Of Nunu. No fee was disclosed with the announcement, but Tequila Works co-founder Raúl Rubio said the investment would allow the company to focus on "original IPs".
"For 12 years, the teams at Tequila Works have passionately crafted high-quality titles that radiated our personal sensibilities", said Rubio. "But there’s a limit to how much you can grow by yourself.
"This partnership will allow us to focus on taking the original IPs we are known for to greater heights and create the best experiences we can dream of," Rubio said.
We've liked a lot of Tequila Works' games. Our Rime review praised its combat-free puzzling, and we later included it on our list of the best non-violent games. "Rime doesn't even try to push you into particular directions or actions, in the main, instead allowing you to look around, experiment and enjoy slow and sometimes startling acts of discovery. It regularly cascades into new and surprising places and situations, and though it does occasionally place you in harm's way, you never do harm yourself."
Also The Sexy Brutale, a time-loop mystery where you repeat the same 12 hours at a mansion where all the guests keep getting murdered. Alice B called it a very clever interlocking thing of beauty.
More recently they've been working on licensed works or work-for-hire jobs, including a VR Groundhog Day sequel (a thing no one remembers exists), the Stadia-exclusive Gylt, and the in-development Song Of Nunu: A League Of Legends Story. Funding that lets them go back to making their own ideas sounds like a good thing.
Tencent continue to buy studios at an alarming rate, and so far this year they've picked up 1C Entertainment, Inflexion Games and Turtle Rock. They buy a new studio about as often as I buy one of those big bottles of Persil.