Tencent has acquired a majority stake in Path of Exile studio Grinding Gear Games.

The New Zealand Herald reports that the Kiwi developer has sold up 80 per cent of its shares to the Chinese Internet giant.

In a blog post, Grinding Gear studio head Chris Wilson assured players that the acquisition won’t change how the studio operates.

“We want to reassure the community that this will not affect the development and operations of Path of Exile,” he wrote.

“Tencent owns giant franchises like League of Legends and Clash of Clans and has a strong reputation for respecting the design decisions of developers and studios they invest in, allowing a high level of autonomy in continuing to operate and develop their games.

“We have been approached by many potential acquirers over the last five years, but always felt that they didn't understand Path of Exile, or that they had other agendas (like signing users up to their services),” he added.

“Tencent's agenda is clear: to give us the resources to make Path of Exile as good as it can be.”

Grinding Gear Games will remain an independently-run company in New Zealand, only now it will have financial reporting obligations to Tencent.

“We spoke to CEOs of other companies that Tencent has invested in, and have been assured that Tencent has never tried to interfere with game design or operations outside of China,” Wilson wrote.

“We retain full control of Path of Exile and will only make changes that we feel are best for the game.”

There will not be any changes to Path of Exile’s “ethical microtransaction” monetisation model, nor to the way the game is accessed.

“We are committed to our current schedule of four releases per year, and we have some really big plans for future expansions,” wrote Wilson.

“If you like what we've done so far, you'll love what we're working on next. As well as multiple 3.x expansions in 2018 and 2019, we've just started development of 4.0.0, which is currently targeted to enter beta testing in early 2020.”