Tencent Opens US Studio

This week Tencent Holdings launched a new U.S. game studio in California called LightSpeed LA, reports Reuters. They say the Chinese giant is looking to create AAA games and enhance their for global appeal. Word is the studio is being headed up by Steve Martin, a Rockstar veteran who's a wild and crazy guy:
The new studio, LightSpeed LA, will be led by former Rockstar veteran Steve Martin and will focus on the development and publishing of AAA titles, Tencent Games’ LightSpeed and Quantum Studios said in a statement to Reuters.

“We’re ushering in a new era of game culture by combining world-class development with a stress-free work environment,” Martin said in the statement.

Tencent is trying to build an array of studios overseas with the goal of creating content with original intellectual property that has global appeal.

The launch is also the firm’s latest move in a strategy to derive half its games revenue from overseas, a category that accounted for about 23% of its fourth-quarter online game sales.

The company has most recently hired Halo 4 lead designer Scott Warner to head another newly-minted new studio grouped under TiMi Studios, the maker of Arena of Valor and Call of Duty: Mobile.

Tencent is also the owner of League of Legends creator Riot Games, and has majority control of Clash of Clans maker Supercell.

The new studio in Orange County has hired creative talent from Rockstar Games, Sony VASG, Respawn Entertainment, 2K Games, and Insomniac.

Last week, Tencent unveiled plans for more than 40 game products, from a release of Mobile Dungeon & Fighter to an unnamed Metal Slug mobile game in partnership with SNK Corp.

It also announced a cross-platform Pokemon team battling game running on Nintendo Co Ltd’s Switch console and on mobile.