It’s been a whirlwind week for Bohemia Interactive. Recently, it was reported that Tencent had put a sizeable investment into the Czech-based Arma and DayZ developer, gaining majority control of it. Bohemia heads have recently spoken to the matter, denying that Tencent has any control over the studio.
Bohemia Interactive’s Head of Marketing Petr Poláček addressed the reporting of Tencent buying out the studio in a statement to Hospodářské Noviny on June 3, 2020. In the statement, Poláček claimed the report that Tencent now owned majority of Bohemia Interactive was untrue.
“It's not true. Tencent didn’t buy us,” Poláček contended. “Bohemia Interactive remains an independent studio. We don't know where this information came from.”
Reported on June 2, 2020 by publications such as The Information, Poláček is referring to alleged news that Tencent had made as much as a $260 million investment in Bohemia, gaining a supposed 70 to 80% control of the developer, which he claims is entirely incorrect.
In addition to Poláček's claims that Tencent reportedly gaining control over Bohemia Interactive are incorrect, Bohemia CEO Marek Španěl also released a statement that Tencent had not purchased a stake in the studio.
"The information circulated by various major media sources about Bohemia Interactive acquired by Tencent is not true," Španěl wrote. "We were talking to numerous potential partners in the past about possible strategic cooperation and we may do so in the future as well but as of now, we remain an independent studio.
Indeed, though Bohemia Interactive is seemingly independent for now, the developer and Tencent aren’t strange bedfellows. Bohemia has collaborated with Tencent in the past to bring titles like Ylands to Tencent’s WeGames global social/gaming platform. With some collaboration behind them, Bohemia Interactive hasn’t ruled out the opportunity of cooperation between itself and the Chinese gaming giant.
On the other end, Tencent has made a lot of strategic partnerships and purchases which wouldn’t make such an investment in Bohemia unfeasible. Tencent partnered with NVIDIA to launch the START Gaming Service and Nintendo to launch the Switch in China in late 2019. They’ve also bought huge stakes in the likes of FunCom and Riot Games, as well as investing in PlatinumGames and its push towards self-publishing.
Despite all of this, as far as Bohemia Interactive is concerned, the studio remains independent of Tencent’s vast empire for the time being. Stay tuned for more on this story as any further details arise.