It was recently announced that Chinese tech giant Tencent had acquired a minority stake in Yooka-Laylee developer Playtonic, and as you would expect, with the injection of funds that goes hand-in-hand with this new development, the developer plans on expanding.
Speaking with GamesIndustry, managing director Gavin Price spoke about what these plans may entail, which primarily includes doubling the studio’s size, expanding to having three development teams, and working on a new 3D platformer that will serve as a direct follow-up to 2017 game Yooka-Laylee.
2019’s Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair, of course, was a sidescrolling 2D platformer. Earlier this year, Playtonic said that it would be revealing its new project soon, and also confirmed that it had multiple new Yooka-Laylee games in development.
Sure enough, the deal with Tencent seems to be focused primarily on expanding the Yooka-Laylee IP. Price said: “We’ve always had a dialogue with Tencent. We got chatting to them about the future of 3D platforming and what we’re doing next. I mentioned that Playtonic had this growth plan of being lots of people with lots of teams. They said don’t do anything hasty, that they really liked these chats and wanted to discuss how Tencent could get involved.
“I was surprised, because I didn’t expect them to be interested in Playtonic. It turned out that they had a department for genres, including a 3D platform department. So we had to formalise our future content plan a bit. And we wanted to have an aspiration goal as well, which was to make Yooka-Laylee an IP that could appear on a major fast food chain’s kids meal box.
“They liked the studio and what we put out before, and they thought they could help us achieve those goals. And it just continued from there. Naturally, everyone wanted to do this, so we just threw it over to the solicitors and waited for them to tell me it was done.”
Interestingly, Price has also said that Playtonic could move to a new HQ, open new offices, and even potentially acquire other teams as it looks to expand.
How long it’ll be before the developer is ready to announce the next Yooka-Laylee game remains to be seen, but clearly, it seems it has big plans for the IP.