After weeks of speculation, today Tencent announced that’s it’s officially buying a majority stake in Supercell, the Finland-based mobile gaming studio that’s produced hits like Clash of Clans. Tencent is already a Chinese media, internet and mobile superpower: they already own the internet portal QQ and the WeChat messaging app, among many other properties — and the Supercell investment is its biggest ever. The $8.57 billion deal adds ever more firepower to their portfolio. And the former owner wasn’t too shabby, either: Tencent is buying out their Japanese counterparts Softbank, who originally invested in Supercell back in 2013.
Are Gaming Companies Worth More than Established Media Companies?
So what does that mean for the mobile gaming industry? “The value of the deal showcases the fact that the most successful gaming companies can reach much higher valuations than established media companies – one should not underestimate the size of this business today, or its future growth opportunities – where most of the drivers for the valuation are coming from. Tencent is ready to up their game not only internationally, but also via new types of media assets. This deal continues their earlier, much smaller, inroads into gaming – and we believe Tencent will continue to be aggressive in new areas of the digital industry in the future, both domestically in China but also internationally,” says Dr. Hannu Verkasalo, CEO of Verto Analytics.