Tencent shuts Team Kaiju, US game studio amid expansion plans

Image: Alex Tai / Getty Images

Closure of Team Kaiju in Tencent’s Global Expansion Strategy

Chinese technology giant Tencent has reportedly closed down one of its United States-based video game studios, Team Kaiju, as part of its global expansion strategy to establish itself as a formidable game developer in the Western market. Although there has been no official announcement, insider information suggests that Tencent has shut down Team Kaiju, a subsidiary of TiMi Studio Group.

Evidence of the closure can be seen on the official website, kaiju.gg, which now only displays a 404 page. Additionally, the studio’s LinkedIn listing leads to an error message stating, “this LinkedIn Page isn’t available,” confirming the apparent dissolution of Team Kaiju. A former employee shared on LinkedIn, “Team Kaiju doesn’t appear to exist anymore. No announcement from Tencent. Most of the folks there were amazing. I wish them the best for the future.”

HTTP 404 Error Code on official website of Team Kaiju
HTTP 404 Error Code on official website of Team Kaiju

The decision to close the U.S. game studio was reportedly made in June, and the affected staff have been reassigned to work on another project within Tencent, according to an anonymous source familiar with the matter. Team Kaiju, led by experienced game designer Scott Warner, was actively involved in developing a high-budget multiplayer game before the shutdown. Tencent’s recruitment of Warner in 2020 was seen as a significant move, given his directorial role in successful games like “Halo 4.”

Tencent shuts US game studio, Team Kaiju amid expansion plans
Credit: Team Kaiju

An ex-developer noted on LinkedIn that the Team Kaiju website is no longer functional, and there is no indication of current employees on the studio’s LinkedIn page. Scott Warner, who had been a key figure at Team Kaiju, updated his LinkedIn account in April to reflect his departure from the studio.

Tencent has refrained from commenting on the closure. An earlier statement mentioned that Team Kaiju was working on an AAA multiplayer game and was co-founded by Scott Warner and Rosi Zagorcheva, a Battlefield veteran. The closure date and reasons behind it remain unclear. However, following the LinkedIn post, a trademark filing for “Team Jade” in Europe was attributed to Tencent.

This shutdown coincides with Tencent’s broader efforts to establish overseas studios and develop games tailored for international markets. Recently, Tencent unveiled its ambitious console title, “The Last Sentinel,” developed by a team of approximately 200 individuals at its Lightspeed LA game studio.

Known for its popular mobile games like PUBG Mobile, Tencent’s move to close Team Kaiju underscores the challenges faced by Chinese companies seeking success in the competitive Western gaming industry. The initial report on Team Kaiju’s shutdown was first covered by Eurogamer.net.

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Source(s): Verdict; Eurogamer

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