A Chinese internet company has bought a minority stake in the developer behind Gears of War.
Epic Games, of Gears of War fame, has sold a portion of itself to a major Chinese internet company. This is the first time ever that Epic has opened itself up to an outside buyer. The buyer, Tencent, is a company that Epic has worked with for many years but the actual amount that changed hands remains unknown, as does the size of Tencent’s minority holding of Epic.
Mike Capps is enthusiastic for the deal, saying that “Tencent’s investment will empower Epic to help us do even more of what we do best, which is making great games and game technology. Its expertise in the global online gaming market is second-to-none, and the opportunity to work with it to bring richer experiences to players all over the world is irresistible.”
The key part of that statement is “players all over the world” – but especially in China. Tencent is a major Hong Kong company, owner and operator of the QQ web portal, and it has the largest single internet gaming presence in China. It also has a minority stake in Riot Games, developer of League of Legends, and is no doubt looking forward to making a fortune from the ever-growing Chinese gamer market.
It’s clearly a match made in heaven. “Epic’s deep commitment to quality across all of its games and technologies inspires us,”said Tencent’s Senior Executive VP David Wallerstein. He went on to say that “we have a lot that we can learn from each other, and we look forward to supporting the Epic team as they embark on their next phase of gaming innovation across both emerging and familiar platforms.”
The deal will conclude over the next month, on terms as yet undisclosed.