Tencent buys stake in US-and-China based developer Pathea in string of Indie game bets

The Chinese internet giant makes 30% of its revenue from online games.

Photo: Shutterstock. Photo: Shutterstock.

Tencent, the world’s largest game company by 2018 revenue, has bought a 16% stake in Phathea Games, Chinese media outlet Caijingtuya reported, citing changes in corporate registration information of the game developer.

Financial details of the deal are not publicly available.

Pathea Games, which was founded in 2010, creates titles for PC, console, and mobile. The company is located in Memphis, USA and Chongqing, China. Some titles including My Time At Portia are already available on Steam, a game distribution platform in the United States. My Time At Portia, a simulation role-playing game that takes place in a post-apocalypse setting, won the 6th Place on the 2018 Indie of the Year Awards by players choice.

This new deal is another one in a series of bets in smaller game companies by Tencent, which keeps its edge in the industry by developing its own titles on the one hand and investing in external companies, especially those with a presence outside of China, on the other. Tencent also bought Sharkmob, a game studio located in Sweden in May and in July led the Series A funding round of Antstream Arcade, a UK-based streaming platform for retro games.

Tencent in 2015 fully acquired US-based game developer Riot Games, the creator of “League of Legends”. The Chinese internet giant in 2012 also took a minority stake in Epic Games, which then went on to develop hit game titles like Fortnite.

Tencent made RMB 88.8 billion (USD 12.9 billlion) in revenue in the second quarter of this year, of which RMB 27.3 billion or 30% came from online games.