Chinese social networking giant Tencent took a minority stake in Epic Games, the maker of the very high-end Unreal gaming engine and smash hit mobile game Infinity Blade. It’s yet another toe in Western waters for the Shenzhen-based company, which boasts more than 700 million users on its platform in mainland China. Last year, Tencent acquired Los Angeles’ Riot Games.
Tencent didn’t disclose how much it paid for the stake in Epic. We had heard from multiple sources that they were competing with Warner Brothers over the deal. Tencent says that Epic will continue to operate independently and the deal should close in about one month.
Epic is the make of the Unreal gaming engine, which is used in super, high-end console-based franchises like Mass Effect and Gears of War. Its studio Chair Entertainment is also behind Infinity Blade, which is an almost console quality iOS game that broke records and topped the charts through the Christmas season.
Per the company’s claims as of March 2008, Tencent is China’s largest and most utilized internet services portal. The company powers popular products like instant messaging and gaming service QQ and e-commerce and online trading platform PaiPai, amongst others.