Riot Games has confirmed that a majority of the company
was bought by China's Tencent, putting its stamp of approval on rumors of the deal
last week. Brandon Beck, Riot's CEO, is quoted as saying that "Tencent's investment will provide our talented team of designers, developers and community staff with additional resources to focus on innovating around League of Legends
and launching new projects that push the boundaries in the gaming space."
Financial Times has a nice analysis
of the deal -- it sounds like this agreement will help both sides, as Riot will not only get that nice cash infusion of a rumored $350 million, but also invaluable assistance and insight for what it was already hoping would be a nice overseas adoption. And Tencent, of course, gets to lay claim to League of Legends
and any other titles that Riot developers, along with the huge microtransaction-based revenues that go along with them, both here and eventually overseas.
Plus, this is a sign of the growing trend of Eastern publishers picking up Western companies to develop content for the large audiences over there. Chinese publisher The9 recently bought another Blizzard spinoff, Red 5 Studios, for $15 million
, and Japanese firm DeNA picked up iOS developer ngmoco for $400 million
as well. Western audiences are big, but Eastern audiences are bigger and, as a result, there's high demand for well-developed games in that market.