China’s biggest internet company buys majority stake in League Of Legends developer.
Tencent, the biggest internet firm in China, has acquired a majority stake in League Of Legends developer Riot Games for a reported $400 million.
Riot confirmed the deal in a post on its website. While it does not disclose the financial details of the sale, Bloomberg said the deal cost Tencent $350 million and Venturebeat puts the figure closer to $400 million.
Under the terms of the deal Riot is to retain its independent status, keep its existing management team in place, and remain at its current Los Angeles headquarters. It says it will be hiring aggressively in 2011 as it seeks to further improve its free-to-play MMOG League Of Legends, expand into other markets, and develop new titles.
Riot CEO Brandon Beck said: “This is exciting news for League Of Legends players and the existing Riot Games team. Tencent’s investment will provide our talented team of designers, developers and community staff with additional resources to focus on innovating around League of Legends and launching new projects that push the boundaries in the gaming space.”
Tencent was already an investor in Riot Games, and in 2008 it licensed League Of Legends for release in China. It also has stock in Russian investment firm DST, giving it a stake in Facebook and Zynga.