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League of Legends Developer Riot Games is Now Wholly Owned by Chinese Company Tencent

by Kyle Hanson

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Riot Games, the developer behind the mega popular multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) game League of Legends, is now completely owned by the Chinese corporation, Tencent. This news comes in an almost off-handed way, released in a post (via arstechnica) about the company’s equity sharing program.

“As a result of our continued growth and changing circumstances, we’re shifting to a new structure to recognize and reward Rioters’ contributions – and that first involves a big change to our existing equity program,” read the post on Riot’s official website. “As part of this effort, our majority investor, Tencent, recently purchased the remaining equity of Riot Games. This allows us to move away from a Riot equity program towards a cash based incentive program that allows Rioters to share in Riot’s success.”

Tencent was already a majority shareholder in Riot and League of Legends, though it had yet to purchase the company outright until now. The corporation is, in a word, gigantic, boasting a higher market cap than IBM. How this change will affect the League of Legends scene is anyone’s guess, but it’s likely that Tencent doesn’t want to disturb the massive success that the game has enjoyed.

LoL has become an eSports giant in recent years, becoming one of the most played games in the world. It is unlikely that we’ll see any massive shifts in the philosophy behind the game, instead we might see some bigger and better support thrown at it, as it goes up against DOTA 2 for eSports domination.

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