League of Legends creator Riot Games now fully owned by Chinese giant TencentBy Rob Thubron
US studio Riot Games - the company behind the League of Legends, the most played game on the PC platform - has quietly announced that it is now 100% owned by Chinese internet giant Tencent.
The news was delivered as part of a Riot post about upcoming changing to its compensation structure. Before the sale, Tencent was already the majority owner of Riot Games, controlling almost 93% of the stock in the LoL creator. Riot did not reveal how much Tencent paid to acquire the remaining 7%.
Talking about its new "cash based incentive program," Riot said: "As part of this effort, our majority investor, Tencent, recently purchased the remaining equity of Riot Games." The sales comes not long after a supposed clash between the two firms over some League of Legends tournaments that were organized by Tencent without prior permission.
Tencent, which was recently valued at $200 billion, also owns significant stakes in other US gaming companies, including World of Warcraft and Call of Duty maker Activision Blizzard, and Gears of War creator Epic Games.
League of Legends is one of the biggest games in the world. The Multiplayer Online Battle Arena (MOBA) free-to-play title is played by 67 million people every month, and regularly hits over 7.5 million concurrent players during peak hours. The game reportedly generates around $1 billion annually from in-game purchases.
The move comes after Riot announced some of the changes in store for League of Legends in 2016. These include more gameplay options, better ways to play with friends, and an overhaul of LoL's web client.