Riot Games owner Tencent invests in Paradox Interactive

That’s another company down!

You should’ve heard of Tencent by this point. It owns Riot Games (and League of Legends by extension), has a majority stake in Epic Games, is helping Capcom produce Monster Hunter Online, was partially responsible for bringing Call of Duty Online to China, is currently producing a Steam Machine-esque set-top box, and now it has invested in strategy developer Paradox Interactive.

If Paradox’s name doesn’t ring a bell, perhaps you’ve heard of its most recent game Stellaris. The studio also developed the most recent Crusader Kings and Europa Universalis titles and published Cities: Skylines. Paradox has made a lot of popular strategy games, is what I’m saying.

It has always been very important for us that any partners we bring on board can contribute in a unique and attractive way to Paradox and have a long term commitment to the company. Tencent certainly fit the bill with their network and know-how of a market where we are not yet present and we believe Tencent will be able to add great value to Paradox in near and long term,” Paradox CEO Fredrik Wester said in a statement published earlier today.

“We look forward to teaming up with thoughtful and strategic gamers in China to discover Paradox’s deep, emergent titles, and enabling them to colonize the New World, as well as the outermost Galactic confederations,” Tencent’s chief strategy officer James Mitchell said in the same statement.

These quotes add up to a suspicion I’ve had ever since China legalized video game consoles: a lot of publishers are going to try and move into China, and a lot of Chinese companies want to share in the profit. For once, this is an investment that doesn’t quite tie into the “all-consuming Tencent” narrative. Hollywood has been digging into the lucrative Chinese market for ages, like when Marvel released an exclusive Chinese cut of Iron Man Three.

Of course, let’s not completely discount this addition to Tencent’s enormous video game portfolio. Its video game arm remains set to make a lot of money, and I’d wager we’ll see Tencent pulling from those aforementioned business relationships if video game consoles take off in China.

Paradox Interactive listing attracts Tencent as fan and long-term investor [Paradox Interactive]

Mike Cosimano