Klei Entertainment

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Klei Entertainment Inc.
IndustryVideo games
FoundedJuly 2005; 15 years ago (2005-07)
HeadquartersVancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Key people
Jamie Cheng
Jeffrey Agala
ProductsEets series
Shank series
Mark of the Ninja
Don't Starve
Don’t Starve Together
Invisible, Inc.
Oxygen Not Included
Number of employees

Klei Entertainment Inc. (/kl/ KLAY[2]) is a video game development company located in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Klei was formed in July 2005 by Jamie Cheng. They are best known for Eets series, Shank series, Mark of the Ninja, Don't Starve, Invisible, Inc. and Oxygen Not Included. As of January 2021, Klei is a subsidiary of Chinese holding conglomerate Tencent.


Jamie Cheng founded Klei Entertainment in July 2005.[3] Prior to the formation of Klei, Cheng worked as a specialist AI programmer at Relic Entertainment, then owned by THQ.[4] Cheng acquired seed funding for Klei by selling his THQ shares earned at Relic and getting a $10,000 loan from his brother.[5] Klei had 11 employees in 2009[6] and as of May 2013 has grown to 35 employees.[3]

Their first title, Eets was first released March 27, 2006, for Microsoft Windows,[7] then for Mac OS X on December 9, 2010.[8][9] Between those two releases the game was ported to the Xbox 360 via the Xbox Live Arcade platform and released on April 25, 2007. Retitled Eets: Chowdown, this version featured 120 new levels and an action minigame called Marsho Madness.[10][11]

The company assisted with Slick Entertainment's N+, the Xbox Live Arcade port of the Adobe Flash game N.[12] In 2008 Klei developed Sugar Rush, a casual massively multiplayer online game.[13] They announced in late August 2010, that development had stopped and the game was canceled.[14] The company's fourth original title, Shank, was announced at Penny Arcade Expo 2009.[15] It was released on August 24, 2010, for the PlayStation 3, August 25, 2010, for the Xbox 360 and October 26, 2010, on for Microsoft Windows.[16]

Klei's survival adventure game Don't Starve was released on April 23, 2013. Don't Starve was released in a 2-for-1 beta format on Steam, allowing players to purchase two copies of the game for the price of one. Before being officially self-published, Klei sold more than 300,000 copies of Don't Starve at $15 each.[3] On April 21, 2016, Klei released a stand-alone multiplayer version of Don't Starve called Don't Starve Together, which has regular updates and individual downloadable content.[17]

On July 2, 2013, it was announced that their next release would to be titled Invisible, Inc., a turn-based espionage game released on May 12, 2015.[18]

In 2017, Klei Entertainment acquired Slick Entertainment. Slick founder Nick Waanders and Jamie Cheng previously worked together at Relic Entertainment, which established a working relationship that later allowed the companies to merge.[19]

Klei announced in January 2021 that they had agreed for Tencent to acquire a majority stake in the company. Klei would remain in full control of its products, but the Tencent acquisition would help them to reach into the gaming market in China.[20]


Co-founder Jamie Cheng sought a company culture where employees live balanced lives.[21] He built Klei with the theory that game studios can make popular, interesting games with a reasonable budget on normal hours at a fair price and still be successful.[21] Since then, Klei has gained a reputation in the video game industry as a successful studio that treats its employees well and maintains balance.[22]

Games developed by Klei Entertainment[edit]

Year Title Platform(s) Notes Ref.
2006 Eets Mac OS X, Windows, Xbox 360
2008 N+ PlayStation Portable, Xbox 360, Nintendo DS Engine only
2010 Sugar Rush Windows Cancelled
2010 Shank Linux, Mac OS X, Windows, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
2012 Shank 2 Linux, Mac OS X, Windows, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
2012 Mark of the Ninja Linux, Mac OS X, Windows, Xbox 360
2013 Don't Starve Linux, Mac OS X, Windows, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Wii U, iOS, Android
2014 Eets Munchies Linux, Mac OS X, Windows, iOS
2015 Invisible, Inc. Linux, Mac OS X, Windows, PlayStation 4, iOS
2016 Don't Starve Together Linux, Mac OS X, Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
2018 Mark of the Ninja: Remastered Linux, Mac OS X, Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch
2019 Oxygen Not Included Linux, Mac OS X, Windows Early Access: 2017
Released: 2019
2019 Hot Lava Linux, Mac OS X, Windows, iOS
2020 Griftlands Windows, Nintendo Switch Early Access: 2019


  1. ^ "Tencent acquires majority stake in Don't Starve studio Klei Entertainment". PC Gamer. January 22, 2021. Retrieved January 22, 2021.
  2. ^ "Klei - It rhymes with play". Klei.com. Retrieved 7 September 2018.
  3. ^ a b c Plante, Chris (2013-05-29). "The Birth and Re-birth of Klei". Polygon. Retrieved 2017-03-15.
  4. ^ Wallis, Alistair (2006-09-29). "Road To The IGF: Klei Entertainment's Eets". Gamasutra. Retrieved 2011-01-21.
  5. ^ "Profile: Jamie Cheng". Centre for Digital Media. Retrieved 2017-03-17.
  6. ^ Remo, Chris (2009-10-22). "Q&A: Klei Founder Cheng Discusses Shank, Animation, Repression". Gamasutra. Retrieved 2011-01-21.
  7. ^ "Eets on Steam". Steam. Archived from the original on 2011-02-02.
  8. ^ Nelson, Randy (2010-12-09). "Eets unleashed on Mac, 75% off via Steam". Joystiq. Retrieved 2010-12-17.
  9. ^ "Eets: Hunger it's Emotional". Kruger Heavy Industries. Retrieved 2010-12-17.
  10. ^ Fahey, Mike (2007-04-23). "Another XBLA Double: Pinball and Eets". Kotaku. Archived from the original on 2012-10-16. Retrieved 2010-12-17.
  11. ^ "Eets: Chowdown - Xbox.com". xbox.com. Retrieved 2010-12-17.
  12. ^ "Legend of Zelda remade in N+". Klei Entertainment. 2008-03-20. Archived from the original on 2010-11-24. Retrieved 2011-01-21.
  13. ^ Greene, Maggie (2008-06-21). "Nexon's Sugar Rush Arena in Closed Beta". Kotaku. Retrieved 2008-07-18.
  14. ^ "Sugar Rush Free-to-Play online arena combat game". Klei Entertainment. Retrieved 2011-01-21.
  15. ^ Tong, Sophia (2009-09-04). "Shank Hands-On". GameSpot. Archived from the original on 2009-09-07. Retrieved 2009-09-05.
  16. ^ Cheng, Jamie (2010-03-04). "Klei signs with EA Partners for Shank". Klei Entertainment. Retrieved 2010-12-07.
  17. ^ "Don't Starve Together | Klei Entertainment". www.klei.com. Retrieved 2017-07-24.
  18. ^ "Invisible Inc". Retrieved 11 July 2014.
  19. ^ Wawro, Alex. "On its 10th birthday, Viking Squad dev Slick joins forces with Klei". Retrieved 2017-07-24.
  20. ^ Makuch, Eddie (January 22, 2021). "Yet Another Game Dev Acquired By Tencent, And This Time It's Don't Starve Maker Klei". GameSpot. Retrieved January 22, 2021.
  21. ^ a b Plante, Chris (2013-05-29). "The birth and re-birth of Klei". Polygon. Retrieved 2019-01-15.
  22. ^ "Why We Can't Shake Crunch and How We Can Do Better". Love Thy Nerd. 2018-11-05. Retrieved 2019-01-15.

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