Tencent Hires Former Kojima Productions Director Ken-Ichro Imaizumi
Along with Imaizumi, Tencent has also hired the Lead Director of Halo 4, Scott Warner, to direct its new AAA studio in North America
Tencent, the Chinese gaming conglomerate, has been stepping up its efforts to reach larger audiences recently. So far, that’s come in the form of partnerships with other companies not under their banner, like Platinum Games. Looking at the company’s latest hires, it seems the next step in its plan to broaden appeal overseas is to pick up industry veterans with successful worldwide releases, like former Kojima Productions corporate director Ken-Ichro Imaizumi.
Along with Imaizumi, Tencent has also hired the Lead Designer for Halo 4, Scott Warner. Warner’s position at the company will be as head of TiMi Studios in North America. If the name TiMi sounds familiar to you, there’s a good reason why: they’re the developers behind 2019’s massively popular Call of Duty: Mobile.
I am moving on to a new role. I’ll be the studio director of a new AAA operation in North America for Tencent. We will be hiring for all disciplines at all levels so reach out to me for details.
— Scott Warner (@scottfeed) May 16, 2020
Imaizumi, on the other hand, will be joining Tencent as the Production Director of Tencent Games. It’s a role that Imaizumi should be used to at this point – he was a producer on all Metal Gear Solid titles since Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty. He then followed Hideo Kojima to the newly founded Kojima Productions, where he oversaw all production on Death Stranding. Imaizumi left Kojima Productions in November of last year.
These two hirings from Tencent show a clear initiative to expand aggressively abroad. Besides investing in multiple massively successful developers and publishers, such as Riot Games, Epic Games, Ubisoft and Bluehole, Tencent has not put out any AAA games itself, although the company has found success in Asia’s mobile games markets. You can be assured this is the beginning of Tencent building a massive gaming force for western audiences. The only question is what games we’ll get out of it.