Milky Tea, the Liverpool-based animation and video game development studio responsible for HyperBrawl Tournament, has received “transformational” investment from Chinese internet giant Tencent.
The investment comes hot on the tail of Milky Tea’s announcement of its new game, the sports combat title HyperBrawl Tournament. The game, which is currently in pre-alpha, is expected to come to Steam and Nintendo Switch in early 2018.
Milky Tea was established in Liverpool in 2005. Now the partnership with Tencent is in place, the studio plans to expand its team, located in the Baltic Triangle in Liverpool. It will also scale up the development of HyperBrawl Tournament, and develop new games in the coming years.
“This partnership marks a turning point in Milky Tea’s history,” says Jonathan Holmes, Founder and Managing Director of Milky Tea.
“The scale of it really hasn’t hit home just yet, but we are all really proud to be part of the Tencent family. We couldn’t ask for better partners.”
He says that everyone at Tencent has gone “above and beyond our expectations” to make this happen. “From a personal point of view, it’s a dream come true. It allows us as a team to focus on making the kind of high quality games that we’ve always dreamed of making.”
Holmes says that his ambition is to turn Milky Tea into a mini-MTV meets Pixar of the video gaming world. “The hard work starts now, as we take the studio onto the next level – our best work is definitely yet to come. With Tencent supporting us, it’s like the studio just got some rocket fuel.”
For the last three years Milky Tea has focused on developing its own gaming intellectual property. However it has also provided game development and animation services for other companies. The studio has created digital content for a large number of high-profile global brands including the NFL, Sony, Kraft, Toyota and Bose. In the UK, the studio is renowned for its work on the Lloyds TSB ‘For the Journey’ adverting campaign.
In 2015-2016 Milky Tea published Coffin Dodgers, a dark comedy Kart Racing game on Steam, Xbox One and PlayStation 4.
The studio has won or been nominated for nearly every major award in its industry, from BAFTA and EMMY to Banff and TIGA. This year the studio was shortlisted by Creative England as one of the top 50 best up and coming, innovative and disruptive companies across film, games and digital tech.
Tencent Holdings is a Chinese investment holding company. Its subsidiaries provide media, entertainment, payment systems, internet and mobile phone value-added services and operate online advertising services in China.
Image courtesy of Milky Tea.