Tencent‘s continued rise to prominence in gaming is picking up steam once more with the announcement of a new LA-based studio. The developer, LightSpeed LA, sits beneath the umbrella of Tencent’s Lightspeed and Quantum subsidiary. Upon setting up shop in Orange County, LightSpeed LA aims to begin work on producing AAA games for the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X platforms. Quite the talent is heading up Tencent’s new venture, too–Rockstar Games alum Steve Martin, who served as a Studio Director and Producer across multiple high-profile projects, GTA V and Red Dead Redemption 2 included.
According to GamesIndustry.biz, Martin will assume the role of LightSpeed LA’s Studio Head and Executive Producer of Development. A team of developers are already on board, a number of whom have previously worked at 2K Games, Insomniac Games, Respawn Entertainment, and Rockstar Games.
Martin, in a statement, shared plans to develop a studio culture that is free from stress and crunch. The Studio Head’s comments on the matter read in part,
We’re ushering a new era of game culture by combining world-class development with a stress-free work environment. From day one, our teams will be focused on building the highest caliber games while promoting integrity, proactivity, collaboration, and creativity.
Details about what LightSpeed LA will develop first are sparse at best. However, the studio teased its debut project will be an open-world title for next-gen consoles.
Tencent has been in and out of the news for much of this year. In January, the Chinese conglomerate invested in PlatinumGames, a move allowing the Bayonetta creators to fully explore self-publishing. Tencent recently invested funds in Yager, too, the studio best known for its incredible work on Spec Ops: The Line. And, according to developer OtherSide, Tencent will prove integral to the future of the System Shock franchise.