In February of 2011 Chinese Internet Company Tencent bought majority shares in League of Legends developer, Riot Games. The original stake cost Tencent a sizeable $400 million, but it seems it was not enough for the Chinese company. Yesterday they reported that they had acquired the remaining shares and now have full control of Riot Games.
Prior to the purchase Tencent owned 93% of Riot Games, according to the Wall Street Journal. League of Legends has long been one of the most lucrative online games throughout the globe, and especially in China. Tencent have earned the majority of their net worth from online games, as well as by being the developers of popular social media chat platforms WeChat and QQ.
Naturally unrest would surface among Riot employees, but while Riot have not commented on the acquisition, they have announced that compensation for Riot employees will change as well.
“As a result of our continued growth and changing circumstances, we’re shifting to a new structure to recognize and reward Rioters’ contributions – and that first involves a big change to our existing equity program. As part of this effort, our majority investor, Tencent, recently purchased the remaining equity of Riot Games. This allows us to move away from a Riot equity program towards a cash based incentive program that allows Rioters to share in Riot’s success. This program comes in addition to our highly competitive salaries, open PTO, learning and development programs, 401K match, subsidized medical plans, and kitchens stocked with snax (poro and otherwise) all full-time Rioters get.”
The news comes as no surprise as Riot Games have announced significant changes coming in 2016 which looks to upgrade the web-based client, and major changes to gameplay. The idea is to create better interactivity between players and continue to grow the competitive title which made over $1 billion in the past year, as well as foster a booming viewership of over 130 million, C|net reports.
You may not be too familiar with Tencent, but they’re one of the largest ISPs in China with a majority focus on Online Gaming. The company owns 40% of Epic Games (developers of Gears of War) and as well as shares in Activision Blizzard. 2016 is going to an interesting year for League of Legends as these new changes start to take effect.
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Last Updated: December 17, 2015