Chinese Publisher Tencent Acquires Major Stake in Epic Games

Epic Games founder Tim Sweeney has announced today that a large stake of its company—40% to be exact—is now owned by Chinese publishing giant Tencent. According to Sweeney, the publisher purchased 48.4 percent of the Epic’s share capital in July, “equating to 40 percent of total Epic capital” and giving the Chinese company the right to appoint two representatives to Epic’s board of directors.

The deal was announced last June but the details were only made public with Tencent’s 2012 annual report, which were published this week.

Speaking to Polygon, Sweeney says that two Tencent representatives joined Epic’s board in addition to three directors and two observers appointed by Epic itself.

“We’re thrilled to have a world-leading partner in Tencent, who gives Epic unique access to the Chinese market as we head into the next chapter of our 21-year history as a leading independent developer,” said Sweeney.

Other long-time employees of the company, including outspoken game designer Cliff Bleszinski and Gears of War producer Rod Fergusson both left the company within months after the deal was made with the Chinese company. Whether their departures had anything to do with the acquisition is anyone’s guess.

Tencent is also the owner of Riot Games, which develops League of Legends.

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