Tencent Plays in U.S. With California Game Studio Launch

Tech giant Tencent has opened a new studio in California to develop and publish top-notch games as it seeks to move beyond its home China market.

The studio, called LightSpeed LA, will be headed by Steve Martin, a former Rockstar Games veteran whose previous credits include “Grand Theft Auto V” and “Red Dead Redemption 2”, Reuters reported Friday.

Martin’s new team will include gaming professionals with experience at companies including Rockstar, Sony, Respawn Entertainment, 2K Games and Insomniac, the report said. Other gaming-focused media said the new studio will develop console games for PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X.

LightSpeed LA’s launch reflects Tencent’s ambition to increase its gaming presence in North America, using an overseas studio to create games catering to Western tastes.

In May, Tencent hired Scott Warner, lead designer of “Halo 4”, to lead another newly created game studio grouped under TiMi Studios, a Tencent Games wholly-owned subsidiary that is the maker of “Arena of Valor” and “Call of Duty: Mobile”.

Chinese gaming firms have increasingly emphasized overseas markets in recent years to boost revenue as Beijing tightens its grip on their home market. Earlier this month, Chinese internet and gaming giant NetEase set up a new game studio in Tokyo, which will produce next-generation console games as part of its multiplatform strategy.


– This article originally appeared on Caixin Global.