Aaryn Flynn's Inflexion studio is now owned by Tencent

Nightingale - A player wearing a pink brimmed hat and dress holds a gas lantern and points a revolver at a monster with lots of teeth.
(Image credit: Improbable, Inflexion Games)

Inflexion Games, a studio made up of ex-BioWare developers including former BioWare general manager Aaryn Flynn, is now a part of Tencent. The Chinese conglomerate's acquisition of the studio was announced by UK-based technology company Improbable, Inflexion's original parent company, which said it sold the studio as part of its new strategic focus on "metaverse activities."

"While we focus our efforts on accelerating in the metaverse, we want to make sure that the games developed by our internal studios benefit from the support of publishers with leading track records of bringing games to market," Improbable CEO Herman Narula said. "So we couldn’t have hoped to have found a better partner than Tencent for Inflexion Games and for Nightingale."

"It’s a privilege to work with the Tencent family," Flynn said. "The depth of knowledge and expertise that Tencent’s global teams provide, and their empowerment of our team’s independence and creative spirit, offer an invaluable opportunity for collaboration."

Flynn told GamesIndustry that Tencent's acquisition of Inflexion, which was founded as Improbable Edmonton in 2019, has been in the works since the summer of 2021. He said that Tencent has so far been "very respectful" of Inflexion's design direction on Nightingale, a crafting survival game set in a neo-Victorian fantasy realm announced in December 2021.

"We recognized in them not just the biggest game development company in the world, but a company that had vast experience in creating compelling live services and engaging player communities, and understanding exactly the culture that's necessary to go and build that," he said. "And since that was a big part of our business plan with Nightingale, we got excited by that complementary expertise."

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Nightingale will no longer make use of SpatialOS: Flynn said the studio elected to drop the technology last summer when it decided Nightingale would be "a more intimate, single-player or small group player experience" that doesn't require the large-scale capabilities of Improbable's technology. Inflexion said in an email sent to PC Gamer that it remains a "shared world survival crafting game" as it was described when it was revealed, however.

Fortunately, despite the new ownership, it doesn't appear that the release will be delayed: Flynn said Inflexion looks forward to "working together [with Tencent] on Nightingale's Early Access launch later this year."

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.