Skip to main content

Visual Arts acquired by Tencent

Chinese gaming giant’s shopping spree goes on
  • Author:
  • Publish date:

Tencent has acquired Japanese publisher Visual Arts, which is mostly known for its contributions to the visual novel genre. In addition to its publishing efforts the company had developed a game engine that is used by studios engaged in this genre. Most notably they act as the publisher for titles created by Key, the most famous of which are Kanon, Air, and Clannad.

Clannad in particular contributed to the popularization of romance games targeted towards men that do not contain any overt adult elements.

This takeover by Tencent was made possible by the retirement of CEO Takahiro Baba, which he had already announced earlier this year. The former CEO transferred his shares in the company – a controlling stake – to the Chinese corporation. Genki Tenkumo, who’s been a producer, director, and writer with the company for many years, has stepped up into the CEO position.

A short English statement made by Visual Arts said that this step would allow the company “to grow further and become a more global IP owner.”

Visual Arts logo on a white background.

Visual Arts, a leading Japanese visual novel publisher, has been acquired by Tencent.

Takahiro Baba announced the acquisition as well as his retirement on the company’s blog, writing that Visual Arts is currently having its highest ever earnings and is doing very well. The CEO cited both his age as well as the lack of a successor from his family, who could take over the company if something were to happen to him, as reasons for the transfer to Tencent, which he described as a stable parent company. “Visual Arts will remain Visual Arts,” he wrote.

Tencent recently acquired Polish developer Techland, known for making the Dying Light games, as well, bolstering its global presence.