Tencent has invested an undisclosed amount in Japanese game developer Platinum Games, known for action titles such as “Nier: Automata” and “Bayonetta,” the company said on Tuesday.

Why it matters: With Chinese regulators tightening control over game licenses and content, Tencent has been looking at opportunities in overseas markets to boost game revenue growth.

  • “Call of Duty: Mobile,” developed by Tencent’s Timi Studios in partnership with Activision, generated nearly $87 million in revenue and more than 172 million downloads in its first two months on the market, according to mobile app analytics firm Sensor Tower.

Details: Platinum Games will use the funding to expand from game development into self-publishing.

  • Platinum Games previously worked with Japanese publisher Konami on “Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance” and game developer Square Enix for “Nier: Automata.”
  • The partnership with Tencent “has no effect on the independence of our company, and we will continue operations under our current corporate structure,” Platinum Games president and CEO Kenichi Sato said in the announcement.
  • This is Tencent’s first investment in a major Japanese game developer in more than five years. In 2014, the company invested an unspecified amount in Japanese gaming company Aiming.

Context: Tencent owns shares of several major game publishers and developers around the world, including a 5% stake each in Activision and Ubisoft, 40% of “Fortnite” owner Epic Games, and 11.5% of “PlayerUnknown’s Battleground” owner Bluehole.

  • Tencent also fully acquired “League of Legends” creator Riot Games in 2015 after buying a majority stake of the company in 2011.
  • In 2019, the company took a majority stake of Finnish mobile game developer Supercell, which is known for strategy titles such as “Clash of Clans” and “Clash Royale.”

Tony Xu

Tony Xu is Shanghai-based tech reporter. Connect with him via e-mail: tony.xu@technode.com

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