Tencent is rumored to be raising billions in cash to buy yet another big game developer, possibly even EA or Take-Two Interactive.
Last year was a big one for Chinese conglomerate Tencent. It purchased Leyou Technologies, giving them both Splash Damage and Warframe developer Digital Extremes, but also Conan Exiles maker Funcom. Just recently, Tencent purchased Don’t Starve developer Klei Entertainment.
And Tencent might not be even close to being done. According to TMT Finance (via TweakTown), rumors are swirling that Tencent is raising billions of dollars by selling debt with the intent of purchasing a big player in the video game market.
Those rumors point at Rockstar parent company Take-Two Interactive, or possibly even EA. Since both companies are doing just fine, it’d have to be a hostile takeover, which might even be more expensive than Microsoft’s purchase of ZeniMax Media for $7.5 billion.
However, those same sources say that the more likely target is a South Korean developer, either mobile game maker NetMarble (the same company making Marvel Future Revolution) or Dungeon Fighter developer Nexon. Purchasing either would give Tencent inroads into the South Korean market, but would basically be just another company for its growing empire.
Netmarble seems the most likely target given that Tencent already owns 17.66% of the company.
As a reminder, Tencent already has full ownership of Riot Games (League of Legends) and Sharkmob, majority ownership of Grinding Gear Games (Path of Exile) and Supercell (Clash of Clans), and partial stakes in Epic Games, Frontier Developments, Activision, Paradox, Ubisoft, Bluehole, and many more.
Although Tencent has already considered the largest video game company in the world thanks to all of its many investments, purchasing EA or Take-Two would undoubtedly make it the biggest player in the video game scene, bar none. It seems highly unlikely that any such purchase would ever come to pass given how profitable both companies are, but 2020 was a strange year, and 2021 is already starting off pretty strange too.