Just one week after announcing that it would be handling the release of Fortnite in China, Tencent is now reportedly looking at acquiring a sizeable stake in Playerunknowns: Battlegrounds developer Bluehole.
Tencent is believed to be investing roughly $470 million into Bluehole—a deal that would give the Chinese conglomerate a total of 10 percent ownership of the South Korean developer. While Tencent already invested into Bluehole in 2017 taking 1.5 percent of shares, this reported offer would see Tencent become the second largest shareholder of the company.
The rise of PUBG and the Battle Royale genre has seen Bluehole’s market cap explode since its release on March 23, 2017. In less than a year, Bluehole successfully became one of the top five highest grossing companies within the South Korean gaming industry, according to the Korea Herald.
This isn’t the first time the Chinese gaming giant has looked at acquiring a larger share of Bluehole, as it was rumored throughout 2017 that Tencent was in the process of acquiring the developer altogether. Bluehole told Dot Esports in August that those reports were inaccurate.
Bluehole’s openness to giving up a major share of the company to Tencent appears to stem from Tencent’s work on the mobile version of PUBG, according to an unnamed source in the Korea Herald’s report.
Adding yet another global smash hit to Tencent’s repertoire would see the Chinese conglomerate operate a majority of the world’s most popular games, as the company is already owns substantial shares in Activision Blizzard, as well as Riot and Epic Games.