China's Tencent buys US Riot Games majority stake

Feb 06, 2011
A man plays online games at an internet cafe in Beijing. Chinese Internet firm Tencent has taken a majority stake in US online game developer Riot Games, less than two weeks after announcing plans to launch a $760 million fund to invest in such companies.

Chinese Internet firm Tencent has taken a majority stake in US online game developer Riot Games less than two weeks after announcing plans to launch a $760 million fund to invest in such companies.

Tencent, one of the leading online game companies in China, will provide financial backing as Riot Games expands into new markets and develops games, the companies said in a joint statement released in the United States Friday.

Financial terms of the agreement were not released. The deal is subject to regulatory approval.

"Tencent's investment will provide our talented team... with additional resources to focus on innovating around League of Legends and launching new projects that push the boundaries in the gaming space," Riot Games chief executive Brandon Beck said.

Tencent obtained the Chinese rights to League of Legends -- a free multiplayer online battle-arena game -- in 2008 and is planning to test it this year in the world's biggest of 457 million users, according to the statement.

The Chinese group announced last month that it plans to launch a five-billion-yuan fund to invest in online gaming, e-commerce and new media companies.

It was not clear whether Tencent would use the investment fund to finance the Riot Games deal.

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