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Chinese internet giant Tencent now owns the studio behind League of Legends

Chinese internet giant Tencent now owns the studio behind League of Legends

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One of the biggest internet companies in the world now owns one of the biggest online games.

In 2011 Chinese internet giant Tencent acquired a majority stake in League of Legends developer Riot Games, and now the company has acquired the rest of the game studio as well. The news comes as Riot announced a new plan, described as "a cash based incentive program," so staff can share in the ongoing success of the popular online strategy game. "As part of this effort, our majority investor, Tencent, recently purchased the remaining equity of Riot Games," the developer explains.

League has an estimated 67 million monthly players

League of Legends was released in 2009, as the first — and so far only — game from Riot. It's currently one of the most popular online games in the world, with an estimated 67 million players each month. The developer — which consists of 18 studios worldwide, spanning from Berlin to Tokyo — recently announced plans for a massive overhaul of the six-year-old, free-to-play game. The company has also served as a pioneer in the field of developing and maintaining positive online communities.

Tencent, meanwhile, has made a habit of investing in Western game developers. In addition to Riot, the company also owns shares of companies as diverse as Gears of War creator Epic Games, and Glu Mobile, the studio behind celebrity-focused mobile games like the just-launched Katy Perry Pop. The company also partnered with Activision Blizzard to launch an online-only version of Call of Duty in China.