The $330 million in shares Riot Games owners Tencent bought from Epic last June amounted to 40% of the Unreal developers’ total capital – enough for the Chinese internet company to appoint two representatives to Epic’s board.
“In June 2012, Tencent made a minority investment in Epic Games, purchasing approximately 48.4 percent of outstanding shares of Epic stock, equating to 40 percent of total Epic capital inclusive of both stock and employee stock options,” Epic’s Tim Sweeney told Polygon.
“As part of the investment, two Tencent representatives joined Epic’s board of directors, in addition to the three directors and two observers appointed by Epic. 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.”
Epic enters that next chapter minus three key figures from its history – president Mike Capps, noisy industry figurehead Cliff Bleszinski, and Gears of War producer Rod Fergusson, all of whom have left the company in the last year. Capps retired to spend time with his newborn son, Bleszinski left for a “much needed break”, and Fergusson moved to Irrational to help finish BioShock Infinite.
Capps initially planned to hold an “advisory role” on the company’s board, but has since stepped down from that position too.
“Our business is increasingly benefitting [sic] from investments we have made in companies whose products or services are complementary to our own”, said Tencent in their 2012 report. “For example, Riot Games’ LoL has attained widespread popularity, strengthening our game portfolio in China and broadening our game revenue internationally.”
Tencent acquired Riot wholesale in 2011. And they’ve done very well for themselves since, haven’t they?
Thanks, PC Gamer.