Riot Games, Inc., a leading independent developer and publisher of premium online video games, has announced that Tencent Holdings Limited, a leading integrated Internet services provider in China, has acquired a majority stake in the company.

The transaction is expected to close within 30 days, subject to regulatory approvals. Upon closing, Riot Games will retain its independent operations and its existing management team will continue to lead all aspects of the company. Financial terms of the agreement were not released.

Riot Games will maintain its headquarters in Los Angeles, and plans to hire aggressively in 2011 across all of its offices. With the financial backing of Tencent, the company plans to enhance its flagship title “League of Legends,” expand into new markets and develop new games.

Tencent is expanding outside of China, building on the 600 million-plus users of its QQ messaging service. The company bought 10 percent of Russian investor Digital Sky Technologies last year, giving it indirect stakes in Facebook Inc. and Zynga Game Network Inc. Tencent is already an investor in Riot Games, which develops the online game “League of Legends.”


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