Chinese web giant Tencent acquires strategic stake in Epic Games

Terms of minority deal not disclosed

Chinese web giant Tencent acquires strategic stake in Epic Games
Chinese internet outfit Tencent has acquired a minority stake in Epic Games, the developers of Infinity Blade and the Unreal Engine.

The terms of the investment have not been released, although it's been confirmed that Epic will continue to operate independently after the deal closes.

Mike Capps, president of Epic Games, explained 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.

"Their expertise in the global online gaming market is second-to-none, and the opportunity to work with them to bring richer experiences to players all over the world is irresistible."

Two cents

Tencent provides value-added services for the web and mobile in the form of its IM and gaming platforms, as well as dealing in online advertising and e-commerce.

It also runs the social network Qzone, which the company claims is the largest online community in China.

"We've developed a huge amount of respect for the Epic team for many years now, as dedicated players of Epic's games and as licensees of Epic's Unreal Engine technology," explained David Wallerstein, Tencent senior executive VP.

"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."

As a strongly profitable company over 20 years, it's highly unlikely that Epic needs Tencent's cash in order to expand its business, but both companies will be working together closely in terms of the opportunities available in the Chinese market. 

Epic already has a development team in China, while Tencent is also looking to launch mobile games in western market, although ironically, its first such release uses Unity. 

[source: Tencent (PDF)]

Staff Writer's news editor 2012-2013