Tencent’s Buying Spree Continues With Majority Stake In Battlerite Developer Stunlock Studios

Amora R Jelo

Battlerite is a hit MOBA from Stunlock Studios

Battlerite developer Stunlock Studios deepens its ties with Tencent
Image: Stunlock Studios

Yesterday, Kotaku reported that Tencent wants to buy British game maker Sumo Group for an eye-watering $1.3 billion. Today, we’re reporting that the Chinese conglomerate acquired a majority stake in Stunlock Studios.

Based in Sweden, Stunlock Studios is best known for free-to-play Battlerite, which climbed atop Steam’s sales chart, and which Kotaku called a “true MOBA.”

Here’s Stunlock explaining how the deal came to fruition in an official announcement:

The two companies began their collaboration back in 2016, when launching Battlerite in China. In 2019, Tencent acquired a minority stake in Stunlock Studios. With this new, deepened partnership, Stunlock Studios will continue to develop games independently, while being backed by Tencent’s strategic support.

“We’ve known—and been highly impressed by—Stunlock for a long time,” said Tencent Games Global head Michelle Liu. “We continue to look to partner with the most-talented development teams in the world to bring the best-quality games to the industry.”

This is just the latest move by Tencent to expand its gaming empire with a majority stake in Stunlock Studios. The company has been buying and investing in a wide range of game makers. Here’s a brief recap:

  • Riot Games (Tencent owns a 100% share)
  • Epic Games (40%)
  • Dontnod (23%)
  • Activision Blizzard (5%)
  • Ubisoft (5%)
  • Paradox (5%)

Plus, as Kotaku previously noted, Tencent has also made smaller investments companies like Platinum Games and Bohemia Interactive. (Note: Tencent also owns the video game site Fanbyte.)

“Tencent’s new investment shows a great deal of trust in us delivering quality titles with our focus on gameplay first,” said Stunlock Studios head Rickard Frisegård. “It will give us the opportunity to realize our grand vision for V Rising, our current game in development, and help us in future ventures, expanding long-term as a studio.”

No doubt this isn’t the last company Tencent buys a majority stake in.

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