Chinese Internet company owns 40 percent of Epic Games

New financial documents reveal Tencent paid $330 million for minority stake in Gears of War studio.


Epic Games announced last summer that Chinese Internet company Tencent had acquired a minority stake in the Gears of War studio, but did not specify terms. Now, more information has come to light. Epic Games founder Tim Sweeney today confirmed with Polygon that the Chinese company owns 40 percent of the developer and has appointed two representatives to the Epic board of directors.

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"In June 2012, Tencent made a minority investment in Epic Games, purchasing approximately 48.4 percent of outstanding shares of Epic stock, equating to 40 percent of total Epic capital inclusive of both stock and employee stock options," Sweeney said.

"As part of the investment, two Tencent representatives joined Epic's board of directors, in addition to the three directors and two observers appointed by Epic," he added. "We're thrilled to have a world-leading partner in Tencent, who gives Epic unique access to the Chinese market as we head into the next chapter of our 21-year history as a leading independent developer."

Recently published Tencent financial documents reveal that the Chinese company paid $330 million for its stake in Epic. Tencent said it decided to invest in Epic because the company is "driving change in the Internet industry" and its ambitions aligned with Tencent's own long-term strategic goal of creating "first-class products."

In the months after the deal was announced last summer, a number of high-profile Epic Games developers and executives left the company. First to leave was former producer Rod Fergusson, who left shortly after the deal was revealed and is now executive vice president of development at BioShock Infinite studio Irrational Games.

In August, three longtime developers at the Epic-owned Bulletstorm studio People Can Fly decided to leave, before design director Cliff Bleszinski left after twenty years with the company in October.

Former president Mike Capps announced he was retiring from Epic but staying on in an advisory role in December, before severing all ties with studio earlier this month.

In addition to Epic, Tencent currently owns a majority stake in League of Legends developer Riot Games.

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