Giant technology conglomerate Tencent Holdings has bought a minority stake in Playtonic, the publisher and developer of Yooka-Laylee, according to a report from GamesIndustry.biz. Thanks to the sizeable investment, the indie studio will be able to more than double its headcount, as well as expand to three development teams. This will also let the studio make more games, including a sequel to Yooka-Laylee.
GamesIndustry.biz was also able to interview Playtonic boss Gavin Price. Thanks to the investment, the studio is able to move to a new HQ and is even considering acquisitions themselves to increase its headcount. The studio has apparently had a dialogue going with Tencent for a long while.
Playtonic seems to have big ambitions for their Banjo-Kazooie spiritual successor. The studio wants “to make Yooka-Laylee an IP that could appear on a major fast food chain’s kids meal box,” according to Price. For an indie studio, that certainly is an ambitious goal, but with the financial backing of a tech giant like Tencent, it’s made much more likely.
For the indie studio though, the investment is mostly about making more games. Playtonic has developed two games of their own since starting in 2014. Since then, the company has also published some other indie titles, the most recent being another 3D platformer, Demon Turf. Funding is always one of the biggest issues in games, so having this security is likely to be reassuring for the U.K.-based developer.