Tencent's TiMi Studios is staffing up in Seattle to build AAA games

The studio is led by former Halo and Battlefield director Scott Warner, who last year opened a TiMi studio in LA.

The Tencent logo displayed outside a conference in Tianjin, China, in May.

Tencent is staffing U.S.-based game studios to build AAA console and PC games.

Photo: VCG/VCG via Getty Images

Tencent's gaming spending spree continues unabated with a string of new job postings for a studio in Seattle led by Scott Warner, a former Halo 4 and Battlefield Hardline design director who was tapped last year to lead a new Los Angeles-based studio under Tencent's TiMi Studios subsidiary.

Warner posted last week on Twitter that he's looking to hire "for our new AAA studio based in Seattle," and that TiMi is specifically looking for those with experience building console and PC games. At least 15 job postings on Tencent's English-language careers page were posted on June 4 calling for concept artists, level designers, producers and software engineers to apply to work on unspecified projects at "TiMi LA/Seattle," indicating the Seattle studio is likely part of the existing LA one. A number of the posting say TiMi is looking for talent to "build the next blockbuster game for gaming communities around the world."

This hiring is notable because up until now, TiMi has been known best as the developer behind hit mobile games like Activision's Call of Duty Mobile and Honor of Kings, the mega-successful multiplayer online battle arena game that's known outside China as Arena of Valor. TiMi hasn't yet released what could be considered "AAA" — a big-budget blockbuster game — for consoles or PC, though it used to build games for Windows before 2014 and has released some games for the Nintendo Switch.

We've known since last year that Tencent, and TiMi Studios specifically, were interested in moving beyond mobile. Tencent's LightSpeed and Quantum subsidiary, another of its in-house game development arms, has a studio in LA dedicated to making AAA games for consoles and PC that opened in July of last year. And Warner, according to his initial hiring announcement and LinkedIn profile, joined in May of last year to lead TiMi's LA studio.

It's not clear if the Seattle studio and the LA one are working on the same singular project or whether there are multiple games in development concurrently, but considering Warner appears to be leading both, it would make sense the studios are collaborating on an initial game. In a LinkedIn post from last month, Warner said his team was "on the hunt for experienced level and gameplay designers to join our crew, particularly those who have shipped work in multiplayer FPS games in the last few years."

Tencent did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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