Chinese technology behemoth Tencent Holdings is believed to be planning a major acquisition which has sent the games industry into a frenzy.
According to a report by TMT Finance (via TweakTown) earlier today, Tencent has started raising billions in capital for a potential gaming deal in the near future. The to-be-acquired game publisher or developer in question remains to be identified but is said to be based in either the United States or South Korea.
Financial insiders have started a rumor that Tencent may possibly be looking into a hostile takeover of Take-Two Interactive, the parent company of Rockstar Games and 2K Games. The two publishing labels are behind some of the most genre-defining franchises in gaming history with Grand Theft Auto from Rockstar Games and Borderlands from 2K Games, among many others.
That however remains only a rumor at the time of writing. There are also other potential acquisition targets in sight such as NetMarble, the largest mobile games maker in South Korea; and Nexon, recognized for being an Asian free-to-play gaming giant. Tencent has stakes in both companies. The Chinese conglomerate is already the third biggest shareholder in NetMarble with a 17.6 percent stake and has exclusive rights to publisher Nexon games in China. A hostile (or friendly) takeover here hence can be expected as well.
Tencent is easily the largest gaming company in the world when accounting for its overall stake in the global games industry. It was just last month when Hong Kong-based Leyou Technologies agreed to sell its shares to Image Frame Investment, a subsidiary of Tencent, for around $1.5 billion.
Leyou serves as a parent company to a number of prominent development studios. It owns a controlling stake in Digital Extremes for starters, the developer of Warframe. It also owns Splash Damage, the developer of Dirty Bomb and Gears Tactics. Splash Damage is further working with Google Stadia on an unannounced project and Amazon Game Studios on a free-to-play Lord of the Rings massively multiplayer online game for at least a couple of years now.