Beijing/New Delhi: Chinese tech conglomerate Tencent has piped giants like Apple and Sony in the gaming sector, making more than 180 strategic investments last year, the media reported on Wednesday. Tencent invested $32.2 billion in gaming companies, ahead of Sony’s $18.2 billion and Apple’s $15.3 billion in investments, reports Nikkei Asia, quoting data from Dutch research firm Newzoo.
Tencent invested in gaming companies in the US, Europe and South Korea. “Data from ITjuzi compiled by Nikkei shows that 40 per cent of Tencent’s investment deals in the first half of 2022 were outside China, a large jump from the 18 per cent share for all of 2021,” the report noted. Tencent took this route to avoid larger scrutiny, as it is a Chinese firm. Its portfolio includes Riot Games, creator of League of Legends; Finnish mobile game developer Supercell, Epic Games, the company behind Fortnite; and South Korea’s Krafton, best known for PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG).
Overseas markets have become more important to Tencent and the company recently said it plans a global release of ‘Honor of Kings’, its biggest in-house moneymaker, this year. Menawhile, Japanese giant Sony this month closed the $3.6 billion acquisition of Bungie, the developer of Destiny and the original creator of the hugely popular Halo franchise. The Sony-Bungie acquisition evaded the antitrust scrutiny while Microsoft’s $68.7 billion acquisition of ‘Call of Duty’ maker Activision Blizzard is facing formal investigations in the US, the UK and South Korea.
Tencent’s investments in the gaming sector come as its acquisitions have attracted closer scrutiny from regulators in the US and China. The ongoing gaming license freeze in China has intensified competition between platforms as hosts are running out of content to talk about. Tencent in April announced to shut down its game streaming platform Penguin Esports by June due to “changes in business strategies”.