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Ubisoft and Tencent form 'strategic agreement' to bring games to China

Tencent will publish, promote and operate Ubisoft's PC and mobile titles in its home market

Tencent has signed on to publish, promote and operate Ubisoft's PC and mobile titles in the Chinese market.

This follows news yesterday that Tencent was one of two new Ubisoft investors who have helped the publisher fend off the ongoing and unwelcome advances of Vivendi. Vivendi has now sold off its entire stake in the company and is prohibited from buying more for the next five years.

"Tencent manages the largest online games community in China and one of the largest, most active social networks in the world, so this deal should help us dramatically increase our games' exposure and engagement in China," Ubisoft CEO and co-founder Yves Guillemot said.

"We are fortunate to have a fantastic partner in Tencent and look forward to continuing to work with them to deliver great gaming and entertainment experiences for Chinese players."

Tencent president Martin Lau added: "We are honoured to start this new chapter of our relationship with Ubisoft, and to be able to bring many of Ubisoft's creative and renowned titles to our Chinese customers. This agreement further demonstrates Tencent's commitment to delivering reliable, fun, and professional interactive entertainment experiences for our users."

In our interview with Guillemot last year, he discussed how Ubisoft has a solid fanbase in China - enough to warrant partnerships that see Assassin's Creed characters crossing over into local mobile games - despite the fact that most of its AAA games have yet to have an official release in the region.

Until yesterday Vivendi had claimed a 27.3 per cent stake in Ubisoft. However, share purchases by Tencent, the Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan and the Guillemot Brothers have firmly placed the company back in the hands of its original founders.

Said Yves Guillemot of the deal: "The investment from new long-term shareholders in Ubisoft demonstrates their trust in our future value creation potential, and Ubisoft`s share buy-back will be accretive to all shareholders."