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Tencent ramping up investments - but may veer away from games

Having already poured money into eleven games firms, Chinese giant is concentrating on new industries such as 'smart retail'

Games firms hoping for a significant investment from Tencent may have missed the boat.

In a speech to representatives of more than 500 Tencent-backed companies last week, the firm's president Martin Lau said there are plans underway to increase its investments overseas into other industries, Reuters reports.

Tencent has invested in more than 800 companies to date, over 160 of which are valued at more than $1 billion. Of the 800, 70 are listed on various stock exchanges. A total of 11 companies are based in the video games industry.

"Previously our traditional investment sectors were mostly focused on video games content and frontiers of science and technology," said Lau. "However, with the development of Tencent's WeChat mini-app ecosystem and payment platform, we will pay more attention to smart retail and payment platforms in future."

Tencent's most recent games investment was the purchase of a 10% stake in Sumo Digital back in November.

The company also wholly owns League of Legends developer Riot Games, an 84.3% stake in Supercell, 80% of Grinding Gear Games, 40% of Epic Games, 14.46% of Glu Mobile, 11.5% of Bluehole, 5% stakes in Activision Blizzard, Ubisoft and Paradox Interactive, plus an undisclosed majority take in Miniclip.

The ongoing success of these companies suggests Tencent may be open to further investments in the games space, but for now the company is exploring options in other industries.

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James Batchelor avatar

James Batchelor


James Batchelor is Editor-in-Chief at GamesIndustry.biz. He is based in Essex and has been a B2B games journalist since 2006