Tencent, who have stakes in some of the the world’s biggest mobile and online games, are proving that they still have their finger on the pulse when it comes to early-stage investment in game companies
The Chinese game and social giant has led the A series in Palo Alto-based PC game startup, Artillery. The investment round, which was for an undisclosed amount, will help to bring the company’s first game Atlas to market. The free-to-play game has similarities with other real time strategy games in Tencent’s investment portfolio including World of Warcraft.
Other investors participating in Artillery’s A series include First Round Capital, Lowercase Capital, Signia Ventures, General Catalyst, Charlie Cleever and Crunchfund.
“We’ve grown to 22 employees and plan to expand our testing at the end of this year,” said Ankur Pansari, Artillery’s CEO, in a statement.”We’ve learned a lot from [Tencent] already and their feedback has been invaluable.”
Tencent has a diverse number of game company investments across mobile and desktop including Riot Games, maker of the highly popular League of Legends game, Activision Blizzard, maker of World Of Warcraft and call of Duty, and Epic Games, the company behind Unreal Engine.
The company has increasingly focussed on the mobile gaming market in China. Recently they invested $126 million for a 14.6% stake in San Francisco-based Glu Mobile Inc., paving the way for the U.S. company to introduce its apps to China.
Despite their continued vigor in the gaming field, Tencent’s growth in online gaming dropped sharply from 28% in Q1 to 17% Q2 2015, while growth in smartphone-game revenue shrunk to 11% from 82%. Saturation in the gaming market has led Tencent to seek out alternative revenue drivers, including advertising which now accounts for approximately 17% of Tencent’s total revenue, rising from 10% in 2014.