The developers behind popular multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) League of Legends now belong entirely to Tencent, the Chinese conglomerate behind similarly popular QQ instant messenger. The news was actually revealed tangentially, when Riot released an article explaining that there would be changes to the company’s equity program.
The succinct post detailed how they will be moving from a “Riot equity program” to a “cash-based incentive program” that would allow employees to share in Riot’s successes. What this entails exactly has not been clarified. But Tencent’s move to purchase the remaining equity shares is not surprising given Riot Games’ track record.
In 2014, it was reported that League of Legends had about 67 million monthly players and more than 7.5 million concurrents, making it arguably the biggest name in e-sports. So big, in fact, that BBC Three saw fit to cover the League of Legends World Championships semi-finals. VentureBeat writes that the game netted $946 million (£633 million) in in-game spending revenues last year, a number that is likely to rise as Riot Games works on an overhaul for League of Legends.