Tencent and LINE Group have jointly invested KRW1,3oo billion (around US$100m) into 4:33 Creative Lab, a leading game designer in South Korea, as beSUCCESS first noted. The fund will be used for expansion outside South Korea and preparing for its 2015 IPO.

Gaming is currently a major revenue source for many mobile messaging apps, especially those in Asia, such as Tencent’s WeChat and Mobile QQ, LINE and KaKao, the dominant mobile messaging app in South Korea.

Tencent has had a stake in KaKao for some time, and developed a number of mobile games similar to their most popular titles. There are about 40 mobile games on Tencent’s WeChat and Mobile QQ, generating RMB2.6 billion (around US$42m) in the third quarter of 2014.

It is believed mobile games generally have a shorter life cycle than PC games, so mobile gaming platforms like WeChat and LINE will always need more new titles. To introduce more popular PC-based and mobile games, Tencent has invested in many developers outside China.

Tracey Xiang is Beijing, China-based tech writer. Reach her at traceyxiang@gmail.com

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