Yesterday, Path of Exile official website posted a message: Tencent has acquired a majority stake in Grinding Gear Games. Concerning the players’ concerns and doubts, the official website has published an article and responded.
GGG said that they will remain an independent company and there won’t be any big changes to how their operate. They want to reassure the community that this will not affect the development and operations of Path of Exile.
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.
GGG have been approached by many potential acquirers over the last five years, but always felt that they didn’t understand Path of Exile, or that they had other agendas (like signing users up to their services). Tencent’s agenda is clear: to give them the resources to make Path of Exile as good as it can be.
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 they have been for the last 11 years. Going forward, they will have financial reporting obligations to Tencent but this will have minimal impact on their philosophy and operations.
Tencent will not try to change Path of Exile. GGG spoke to CEOs of other companies that Tencent has invested in, and have been assured that Tencent has never tried to interfere with game design or operations outside of China. They retain full control of Path of Exile and will only make changes that they feel are best for the game.
The Chinese version of Path of Exile currently has its releases a few weeks after the international version. GGG are working hard to reduce this gap so that they come out closer together (or even simultaneously), but are not planning to prioritise the Chinese version of Path of Exile ahead of the international version. GGG want to treat all of their customers equally without any of them being frustrated at missing features or delayed releases.
GGG develop almost all features on the international version. But sometimes, Tencent will request features that they want to try in the Chinese version that they don’t plan to roll into the international version. If those features turn out to be a really good fit for both versions, then they of course port them back into the international version.
As well as multiple 3.x expansions in 2018 and 2019, GGG have just started development of 4.0.0, which is currently targeted to enter Beta testing in early 2020. Bear in mind that maintaining some chaos orbs poe when you enjoy the game.