Sources within the venture capital industry say Tencent plans to buy Bluehole stakes for more than 500 billion won (about $468 million USD). If it does so, it will be Tencent’s biggest investment in a Korean video game company.
Tencent is one of the world’s biggest investment corporations. Its net profits reportedly hit $10.9 billion last year, an increase of 74%, while revenues increased by 56% to $36.4 billion. Its subsidiaries include “League of Legends” developer Riot Games, “Clash of Clans” creator Supercell, and “Arena of Valor” studio Tencent Games.
A Bluehole spokesperson told the Korean Herald Monday the company is currently “in the process of procuring investments (from parties),” but said it could not disclose the amount or the exact names of the parties involved. But, if Tencent does follow through, it will own more than a 10% stake in the company, making it the second-largest shareholder behind Bluehole chairman and co-founder Chang Byung-gyu.
Variety has contacted Tencent to confirm the Korean Herald’s reporting and will update this story upon hearing back.
Other companies like Microsoft, Sequoia Capital, and IMM Investment reportedly had interest in Bluehole as well, but lost the bid to Tencent, which already has a working relationship with the developer. They teamed up last year to bring the mobile version of “PUBG” to China. The popular battle royale game has reportedly sold over 30 million copies and made over $700 million USD since launch.
Tencent also owns 40% of Epic Games and helped launch the mobile version of “Fortnite” in that country as well. The battle royale game “Fortnite” is a global phenomenon that made about $126 million in February alone, according to market research firm SuperData.