Tencent buys 20 per cent of Japan’s Marvelous Inc – while Platinum Games spells out its Tencent arrangement

Tencent’s latest purchase is a hefty 20 per cent stake of Japan’s Marvelous Inc, which will set the Chinese gaming and social media giant back around $65m. 

Marvelous has a solid lineup of titles which are very much aimed at its local market. Including the Harvest Moon-like Story of Seasons, plus various popular RPG franchises and a variety of titles that involve unrealistically proportioned young women competing in numerous ways.

“Tencent’s reason for the investment is probably to learn how to make console games from Japanese companies, one of the last frontiers for the Chinese tech company’s game business,” Hideki Yasuda, an analyst at Ace Research Institute told Bloomberg. “The investment will help Marvelous ride through the period of global economic uncertainty, and release more of its domestically-popular titles to the Western market.”

As with many Tencent deals the company’s have already been working together, with Tencent using the Story of Seasons IP to create a mobile games for the chinese market. 

And in related news, another Japanese developer spoke out on its relationship with the Chinese goliath. In this case, it was Platinum Games’ director Hideki Kamiya, with the company having an undisclosed capital investment from Tencent. 

Speaking in japanese on Twitter (and reported and translated by Silicon Era – thanks!) he made the point that Platinum Games’ relationship with Tencent was straightforward, framing it as an imaginary conversation between them.

 

Hideki Kamiya: “This might be pointless since it doesn’t get through no matter how many times I explain, but just in case, to put our relationship with Tencent simply, it is like this:”

Tencent: “We’re going to help with funds. As per the contract, we will have no influence on the business so use it freely and make a good Platinum IP game.”

Platinum Games: “Okay.”

Tencent: “In return, if you do make a good game and you want to make a mobile game for it, please prioritize us for its licensing.

Platinum Games: “Okay.”

That all sounds very straightforward and healthy, though obviously we only have Kamiya’s word on it, the fact he’s chosen to speak out and put rumours to rest as to Tencent’s influence on the company is refreshing.

About Seth Barton

Seth Barton is the editor of MCV – which covers every aspect of the industry: development, publishing, marketing and much more. Before that Seth toiled in games retail at Electronics Boutique, studied film at university, published console and PC games for the BBC, and spent many years working in tech journalism. Living in South East London, he divides his little free time between board games, video games, beer and family. You can find him tweeting @sethbarton1.

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