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No, Tencent didn’t invest in the PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds studio

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Last week, you may have read that the giant Chinese corporation Tencent – who count League of Legends studio Riot among their many gaming holdings – were making an investment in PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds developers Bluehole. Turns out: it’s not true.

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Tencent sent the following statement to gamesindustry.biz:

“These reports are not accurate. Tencent didn’t make an investment into Bluehole.”

The story originated with Chinese website Jiemian News, who were picked up by Yicai Global. According to them, Jiemian cited “an informed source” for their report that Tencent were backing Bluehole, and indeed had originally planned to acquire the Korean devs outright, but were turned down.

In fairness to Jiemian (and everyone who re-reported them), it sounds credible enough. Tencent recently backed another foreign studio, taking a 9% stake in UK devs Frontier Developments, makers of Elite Dangerous and Planet Coaster.

PUBG’s astonishing success so far and its popularity in China (19% of its player base are Chinese) would make Bluehole a tempting target for anyone with Tencent’s money, but perhaps they decided they didn’t need it; note that Tencent’s statement doesn’t say they didn’tapproach Bluehole with an offer.

Maybe Jiemian’s source just assumed it would be better received? If so, there’s a chance Tencent could try again.

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