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Alanah Pearce Turns Heads With Tencent Comments

Most gamers know that the world's largest game distributor, Tencent, has a shady side, but recent comments from game journalist and streamer Alanah Pearce put a whole new spin on the less savory aspects of the company.

In an interview with The Serfs, Pearce responded to a claim that Microsoft is attempting to become a mega-empire in the style of Disney after its recent acquisition of Activision Blizzard. Pearce said that it seems that Microsoft mainly wants to focus on its Game Pass, and that the true danger lies in companies like Tencent, the Chinese publisher responsible for the most game sales of any distributor in the world. 

Pearce said that the company has "bad practices" and that she felt hesitant to speak out against the company because of its power. She explained that Tencent allegedly takes the source code of games from studios it owns, so that in the event that a studio opts to take its game to a different company, Tencent could effectively replicate the game and continue to make money from it. However, holding codes hostage apparently wasn't the most alarming practice at Tencent.

Tencent's upsetting rules

Due to China's strict censorship laws, Tencent cannot produce games that feature some staples of narrative gaming, like ghosts, cults, or political commentary. According to The Guardian, these rules are in place for all game publishers, not just Tencent. However, Tencent's alleged requests don't involve removing supernatural elements from games or excising political themes.

"They also have like, a bunch of problematic s***," Pearce continued. She explained that she knew someone who had a film that was going to be funded by Tencent, and that the company had some strange demands for the director. "They were like, 'No Black people, bigger t***s,'" Pearce claimed. Pearce explained that she wasn't sure whether or not these rumors were completely true, but she said that the industry should be more worried about Tencent than Microsoft in the long term.

In a brief statement to The Gamer, Tencent fired back, saying that Pearce's claims were "contrary to our beliefs, culture and values. At this point they are also just rumors." The company claimed it would take "appropriate action" if the rumors turned out to be true.

Ultimately, Pearce said that she hopes the acquisition between Microsoft and Activision Blizzard can benefit the employees first and foremost, and that it gets them the help they need to reform the allegedly toxic workplace. While many fans feel concerned for the future of franchises like "Call of Duty" on PlayStation — especially considering the acquisition was terrible news for PlayStation fans of Activision Blizzard titles — Pearce's optimism for the deal highlights a different sort of issue between the companies.