Chinese internet giant Tencent has long owned a partial stake in developer Riot Games, the studio behind the massively successful MOBA game League of Legends. Riot announced via a post on its official site that Tencent has outright purchased the developer.
As a result of our continued growth and changing circumstances, we’re shifting to a new structure to recognize and reward Rioters’ contributions – and that first involves a big change to our existing equity program. As part of this effort, our majority investor, Tencent, recently purchased the remaining equity of Riot Games. This allows us to move away from a Riot equity program towards a cash based incentive program that allows Rioters to share in Riot’s success.
Tencent Holdings has, in just a few years, become the biggest company in gaming despite barely being mentioned. In addition to owning Riot Games, the company owns stake in Activision Blizzard, Epic Games, GLU Mobile, and Pocket Gems – meaning it is profiting off of some of the biggest games in the world, the biggest game engine (Epic’s Unreal Engine), and even mobile stuff.
How this will actually affect League of Legends remains to be seen. It has a huge hit on its hands, though, and it’d be surprising to see it mess with what seems to be a working formula.