Tencent Holdings Limited, a Chinese internet, mobile, and telecommunications provider, announced today that it has acquired a minority stake in Epic Games, Inc. Epic is the development studio behind the Unreal Engine and video game titles such as the Gears of War series. Tencent classifies the investment as a strategic one, and states that Epic will continue to operate independently. The amount of the investment was not disclosed.
“We've developed a huge amount of respect for the Epic team for many years now, as dedicated players of Epic's games and as licensees of Epic's Unreal Engine technology," said David Wallerstein, senior executive vice president of Tencent. "Epic's deep commitment to quality across all of its games and technologies inspires us. They've been raising expectations in gaming for two decades now and they're just getting started. We have a lot that we can learn from each other, and we look forward to supporting the Epic team as they embark on their next phase of gaming innovation across both emerging and familiar platforms.”
Epic had two major announcements at this year's E3. The company is helping to develop Gears of War: Judgment, a prequel to the original Gears of War game. Epic also showed off its new Unreal Engine 4 at the trade show. The updated engine features better lighting, reflection, and particle effects, as well as a modable editor interface that allows developers to compile code on-the-fly.
“Tencent’s investment will empower Epic to help us do even more of what we do best, which is making great games and game technology," said Epic president Michael Capps. Their expertise in the global online gaming market is second-to-none, and the opportunity to work with them to bring richer experiences to players all over the world is irresistible. Epic is excited to be full steam ahead on all of its current plans for this generation of games and the next, with the support of a fantastic partner that believes in our strategy and shares our dream.”