Tencent Takes Full Control Of ‘League Of Legends’ Creator Riot Games

22 Dec 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

League of Legends now owned entirely by Chinese giant Tencent.

Billion-dollar Chinese Internet firm Tencent bought a majority stake in Riot Games back in February 2011, and now it has closed out the deal by fully acquiring the games firm behind hit title ‘League of Legends’. The developers behind popular multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) League of Legends now belong entirely to Tencent, the Chinese conglomerate behind similarly popular QQ instant messenger. That’s according to a post from Riot Games — hat tip to Polygon for spotting — which disclosed a change to its equity and employee rewards structure after “our majority investor, Tencent, recently purchased the remaining equity of Riot Games.” Tencent is believed to have bought its 85 percent majority stake for “more than $350 million” according to a Wall Street Journal report written at the time. TCEHY 2.49 % said it had bought all of the shares in U.S. online-game company Riot Games it didn’t already own, in a deal that gives the Chinese Internet giant full control of the developer of the popular “League of Legends.” Riot’s “League of Legends,” one of the highest grossing online games with avid fans around the world, is an important asset for Tencent, analysts say.

The succinct post detailed how they will be moving from a “Riot equity program” to a “cash-based incentive program” that would allow employees to share in Riot’s successes. Gaming is a core part of the company’s revenue, via its hugely popular QQ desktop messaging service and WeChat, China’s most popular mobile chat app with over 500 million users.

The Chinese tech giant owned 85% of the stakes since February 2011; it is given that it had a strong say in all decisions that were made hence we doubt the acquisition will affect the game. Tencent, which was already a majority investor, definitely has a lot to offer Riot Games, especially with stiff competition from Dota 2, which is owned by gaming megalith Valve. Reuters reported that Tencent had hit a market cap of over $200 billion (£133 billion) in April—a higher market cap than tech giants IBM and Oracle—with shares rising by double digits since the beginning of the year.

However, it then decided to move up the ladder by becoming, in 2009, an official Riot Games’ investor. 2011 saw the company buyout numerous other investors for a rumored $400 million, and come 2015 the tech giant owns the entire stock. “Kite, kite, kite, kill,” takes good skill.

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