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Tencent still eyes acquisition of PUBG developer Bluehole - report

Tencent working with firm to deliver PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds in China, says Korean Times

Chinese tech giant Tencent is still eyeing a move for PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds developer Bluehole, The Korean Times reports.

The firm was rumoured to have made an offer before the online game became a smash hit, but was rejected by Bluehole.

Since then, Bluehole has grown significantly, reducing the number of companies that will be able to afford to acquire the firm. Furthermore, The Korea Times says that an IPO is out of the question due to the fact that 'Bluehole founder Chang Byung-gyu holds a government position as the chairman of the Fourth Industrial Revolution committee'. Chang holds over 20% of the shares in the developer and publisher.

The report also states that Bluehole is working with Tencent in delivering its game to Chinese audiences via its WeGame platform. Last week, Niko Partners said that PUBG would need to partner with a Chinese games company if it wanted to release its game in the territory officially. They stated that the developer may need to make changes due to strict content regulations set out by the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film, and Television (SAPPRFT).

In a series of tweets, IHS analyst Piers Harding-Rolls wrote: "If true this is big news (although expected) and also adds another perspective to Tencent's recently announced copy-cat mobile title Glorious Mission.

"If a publishing deal has been agreed for PUBG in China, the game will be going through some changes before release. It would also mean a major win for Tencent's WeGame platform (if indeed it was to stay premium). It may see the [Chinese] Steam version withdrawn (like Rocket League)

"If Tencent does publish #PUBG in China, following on from government agency SAPPRFT comments, what changes will we see? Less red blood I imagine (removing the gas impact is easy win) - also will it go F2P like Rocket League?"

The game has now been download 20m times worldwide. It launches on Xbox One's Game Preview programme on December 12th.