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Tencent ploughs $90 million into Episode and War Dragons developer Pocket Gems

Studio to remain largely independent
Tencent ploughs $90 million into Episode and War Dragons developer Pocket Gems
Date Type Companies Involved Size
May 11, 2017 investment Pocket Gems Tencent $90m

San Francisco developer Pocket Gems has received $90 million in investment from Chinese games giant Tencent.

The funding will go toward supporting major expansions for its titles Episode and War Dragons.

Pocket Gems is also set to launch a new studio that has been working on a 3D synchronous multiplayer title for the hardcore gaming market for release later this year.

It’s not the first time Tencent has invested in the developer. In May 2015 it reportedly spent $60 million to purchase a 20% stake – though the exact terms were not officially disclosed. 

Despite the large injection of cash, Pocket Gems said it will continue to operate independently with Tencent and Sequoia Capital remaining as minority investors.

San Francisco’s mobile gem

The news comes after Pocket Gems enjoyed its best year to date for the number of users playing its games and gross bookings.

Players of its story-driven game Episode have viewed three billion episodes in the title to date. The company has tapped Hollywood franchises and celebrities such as Mean Girls, Pretty Little Liars and Demi Lovato for its interactive stories .

War Dragons meanwhile is a top grossing game and is said to have tripled its player based year over year, with nearly two billion battles fought in 2016.

“We’re excited to build on our partnership with Tencent, whose unmatched strength in games will help us become one of the great developers of mobile games and interactive entertainment in the world,” said Pocket Gems CEO Ben Liu.

“We’re still in the early days of mobile, and our pioneering team is eager to continue pushing the boundaries of what’s possible. The best is yet to come.”