Chinese gaming giant Tencent is planning a deal to acquire 10% of Korean game developer BlueHole which is famous for it's Battle Royale game PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds for $500 million valuing the company at $5 billion. Previously Tencent had acquired a 1.5 per cent stake in Bluehole for $63.9 million as a part of a deal for publishing rights in China.
China was the first region to get its hands on the popular battle royale port when PUBG: Exhilarating Battlefield and PUBG: Army Attack was released in China on February 9th both rocketing to top slots on iOs days after launching. Also the sale is not intended to raise capital for Bluehole but instead is a chance for early investors to cash out on shares.
As of 2017, Tencent is the largest gaming company in the world by revenue and market value. Its leading game Arena of Valor, a mobile MOBA game based on Chinese historical characters is the world's most popular and top-grossing game by worldwide iOS + Google Play revenue in May, according to mobile data intelligence firm App Annie's latest monthly index. It grossed on average $84 million per month on iOS in China in the first five months of the year.
PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds was the first Battle Royale game that took the world by storm by allowing 100 players to fight against each other in a deserted Island. But soon after the success of Playerunknown's Battlegrounds, thousands of clones cropped up in the market including Epic game's Fortnite as well as Call of Duty launching its Battle Royale mode called Blackout.
PUBG Corp is suing Chinese gaming giant NetEase, which has published not one but two games—Rules of Survival and Knives Out—which are very similar to the original game. In particular, PUBG Corp is citing NetEase’s use of the term “Chicken Dinner” in marketing, and similarities in the “buildings, landscapes, vehicles, weapons, clothing, the pre-play area, and the shrinking gameplay area.”
This investment will give blue hole the firepower to fend off its clones and competitors in a genre which it invented and keep improving its game. Last year, Bluehole sold more than 30 million copies of the game on PC, according to SteamSpy.