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Chinese games giant acquires minority stake in Epic Games

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Tencent gets minority share

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Epic Games and Tencent are joining forces, with a new deal that gives the Chinese games giant a minority share in the Western company.

Video games company Epic Games today announced a deal with China-based games giant Tencent Holdings Limited which received a minority stake in the Gears of War developer as part of a "strategic investment."

While little will change for the Western studio, who remains independent and will focus on developing titles for all platforms, it is likely the investment is part of Epic's long-term plan to expand into Asia.

Speaking to NewsObserver, Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney stated the deal involves a collaboration with Tencent, which will involve tapping into the Chinese company's customer base. This is believed to help Epic move from console-based titles into PC-based online games and mobile titles with an overall larger worldwide appeal.

The Western company will work closely with Tencent throughout the development process to work out ways to maximize sales in Asia and China. The goal is to "develop global games that are globally successful," says Sweeney.

Tencent is considered one of the biggest games publishers in the world. The Hong Kong firm established a presence with online titles, mobile games, free-to-play browser games, as well as an instant messaging service.

The deal is expected to close within one month however terms of the investment remain undisclosed.