Tencent acquires Back 4 Blood developer Turtle Rock Studios

Turtle Rock Studios will fall under ownership of Tencent, though the deal states that the Back 4 Blood studio will retain independent handling of its projects.


Another major acquisition has fallen under the Tencent banner this season. This time, it was Back 4 Blood developer Turtle Rock Studios parent company Slamfire Inc. that was snatched up by the Chinese gaming giant. While this means that Turtle Rock Studios will also become part of Tencent’s gaming empire, Turtle Rock Studios assured fans that it will remain in independent operation with key staff still leading the studio.

The Tencent acquisition of Slamfire Inc. and, by extension, Turtle Rock Studios was announced on December 17, 2021, as reported by BusinessWire. The exact value of the acquisition was not disclosed in the announcement, but Turtle Rock Studios is a big pickup immediately following the successful launch of Back 4 Blood in October. It’s especially interesting since Microsoft also seemed interested in Turtle Rock, given the effort to launch Back 4 Blood on Xbox Game Pass on Day 1. Regardless, it seems like any chance of Microsoft picking up the studio is now gone for the time being.

Back 4 Blood was Turtle Rock's step back into the spotlight in terms of co-op zombie run-and-gun.
Back 4 Blood was Turtle Rock's step back into the spotlight in terms of co-op zombie run-and-gun.

While Turtle Rock becomes the latest to be scraped into Tencent’s gaming empire, the studio insisted it will continue independent operation of projects for the foreseeable future, with co-founders Phil Robb and Chris Ashton still leading Turtle Rock.

“We are all looking forward to joining the Tencent family of studios,” said president and general manager of Turtle Rock Studios Steve Goldstein. “Tencent’s outstanding partners, global reach, deep knowledge of gaming and unprecedented support will help us create the kinds of ambitious games we dream of, while allowing us to retain our autonomy and independent spirit.”

While it’s an undoubtedly a good thing for Turtle Rock and the future of Back 4 Blood as the studio continues to build upon the game, it’s also arguably unsettling that Tencent has pulled yet another prominent studio into its web. Stay tuned for further details and updates as they become available, here at Shacknews.

Senior News Editor

TJ Denzer is a player and writer with a passion for games that has dominated a lifetime. He found his way to the Shacknews roster in late 2019 and has worked his way to Senior News Editor since. Between news coverage, he also aides notably in livestream projects like the indie game-focused Indie-licious, the Shacknews Stimulus Games, and the Shacknews Dump. You can reach him at tj.denzer@shacknews.com and also find him on Twitter @JohnnyChugs.

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