China's biggest Internet company, Tencent, has reportedly acquired a majority stake in Los Angeles-based Riot Games for the sum of $350 million. Tencent has already acquired a number of other Western properties, including Crytek's free-to-play FPS
and Take-Two's NBA 2K Online
, and also runs the QQ messaging service, boasting over 600 million-plus users. Riot makes League of Legends
, the free-to-play DotA
-style multiplayer title, and has said it will stay in Los Angeles and continue to "aggressively" hire through 2011.
This deal likely won't affect the day-to-day of League of Legends
(or any other titles Riot has under development), but given Tencent's contacts and assets in China, Riot will likely get a lot of help in spreading its games to players overseas. The transaction is still subject to regulatory measures, but is expected to close within 30 days.