Grinding Gear Games, or better known as GGG, is the developer studio behind the popular FreeToPlay action RPG Path of Exile. As announced today, the Chinese game publisher has Tencent now 80% of the shares in GGG acquired. Even so, GGG will remain an independent company and Tencent will not have any influence on day-to-day decisions.
Path of Exile joins games like PUBG, League of Legends, Clash of Clans
Tencent is the largest game publisher in China and also a giant worldwide. With shares in games like League of Legends (Riot), clash of clans and Playerunknown's Battlegrounds Tencent has some of the most popular games with millions of users.
Of course, such a purchase causes unrest, if not panic, among the fans, which is why one of the founders of GGG, Chris Wilson, went out of his way to allay the concerns.
- GGG remains independent - Tencent has no influence on the design and development of Path of Exile outside of China
- Path of Exile remains FreeToPlay, so free of charge with optional microtransactions. These microtransactions such as skins for items, weapons, spells will continue to be of a purely cosmetic nature and will have no impact on the game.
- Access and login to Path of Exile remain the same. It will no Tencent account may be required. As usual, you can log in normally via the client or Steam.
You can find the complete FAQ on this topic below:
Tencent has invested in Grinding Gear Games
Our Chinese publisher Tencent has acquired a large part of the shares in Grinding Gear Games. However, we will remain an independent game company and there will be no major changes in the way we work. We want to assure you that this has no impact on the development and operations of Path of Exile. That is why we have prepared some answers that may be of interest to you as part of this investment.
Why Tencent? Why not another company?
Tencent is one of the largest companies in the world and one of the largest computer game publishers. Tencent already owns huge franchises like League of Legends and Clash of Clans. They have also built a reputation for respecting the design choices of the developers and studios in which they invest. This enables the studios a high degree of independence in the further development of the games.
We have been contacted by many potential buyers over the past five years, but always felt that they did not understand the game or that they had other plans (for example, users should join their services). Tencent's agenda, on the other hand, is clear: They want to give us the resources to make the game the best it can be.
Will Grinding Gear Games become part of Tencent?
Grinding Gear Games continues to be an independently managed company in New Zealand. All developers work for Grinding Gear Games and are not employees of Tencent. The founders (Chris, Jonathan and Erik) continue to run the company, as they did in the previous 11 years. Going forward, we will have financial reporting requirements to Tencent, but this will have a minimal impact on our philosophy and business.
Will Tencent try to change the game?
No. We spoke to the executives of other companies that Tencent has already invested in and were assured that Tencent had never attempted to interfere in game design or operations outside of China. We retain full control of Path of Exile and will only make changes that we think are best for the game.
Will Path of Exile pay-to-win?
No. We will not make any changes to the payment model or our international servers.
Will Grinding Gear Games prioritize the Chinese version of Path of Exile?
The releases of the Chinese version of Path of Exile are currently a few weeks behind the international version. We are working hard to minimize or even close this void, but we have no plans to prioritize the Chinese version of Path of Exile over the international version. We want to treat all of our customers equally without them being frustrated with missing features or delayed releases.
Will the Chinese version get some features before the international version?
We develop almost all features on the international version. But sometimes Tencent asks for features that they want to try out in the Chinese version, but which we are not planning for the international version. But if these features turn out to be really good for both versions, then we would also adopt them for the international version.
Will I need a Tencent account to sign in?
No. Nothing changes in Path of Exile's access to the international servers.
What's next for Grinding Gear Games?
More Path of Exile! We're following our current schedule of four releases a year, and we already have some really big plans for future additions. If you like what we've already done, you'll love what we're working on next. In addition to numerous 3.X extensions in 2018 and 2019, we have just started developing 4.0.0 and our plan is for the beta to take place in early 2020.