China's Internet giant, Tencent, has purchased a minority stake in leading US game developer Epic Games, maker of the Unreal gaming engine that powers many of the high-end console-quality franchises such as Mass Effect and Gears of War. Epic Games is also behind the popular console-quality iOS mobile game Infinity Blade.
The terms of the investment haven't been disclosed but the deal is expected to close next month. Tencent supposedly had to compete with Warner Brothers to secure the deal. Epic Games will continue to operate independently and the investment from Tencent will help it to push its gaming technology into the global online gaming market.
Tencent boasts the largest online community in China with more than 700 million users on its platform, which includes services like its QQ instant messaging, QQ.com web portal, QQ Game Open Platform, and multimedia social network and wireless portal Qzone. Just last year, Tencent had acquired Los Angeles-based Riot Games.