Updated 9:30am February 9th: Tencent has now released a statement confirming what it calls a "strategic partnership" with Shanda Games through an investment of $476 million.
The partnership will make us of Shanda's game development expertise and Tencent's publishing knowledge to create new releases.
"Going forward, Shanda Games will build its new cultural ecosystem through strategic partnership, investment, resources sharing and IP operation," said Tencent in a press release.
"Tencent’s investment will further strengthen Shanda Games’ competitive strength in its core business and the establishment of its new cultural ecosystem, enabling Shanda Games to achieve its goal in becoming a leading enterprise in the new cultural industry."
Original story: Chinese behemoth Tencent has purchased an undisclosed stake in former market leader Shanda Games.
As reported by the South China Morning Post, Shanda confirmed the purchase on February 7th 2018. It did not reveal how big the stake was, how much it was sold for, or when the deal actually occurred.
Shanda Games was spun out of Shanda Interactive in 2001 and went public in 2009. However, it struggled to compete with Tencent and NetEase during the rise of mobile games in China.
The company then decided to go private once again, but the process was long, messy and incredibly confusing. In the end it was bought out for $1.9 billion in April 2015 by a consortium of eight China-based companies.
Despite its struggles, Shanda Games has still managed to snag some important deals following its privatisation. In July 2016 it worked with Bethesda to publish a localised version of Fallout Shelter in China.
Tencent, meanwhile, has gone from strength to strength. The company was the first in China to break the $500 billion market cap, and its game Honor of Kings generated an estimated $1.9 billion in 2017, the same amount Shanda Games was bought for in 2015.