Tencent has doubled its stake in Assassin’s Creed developer Ubisoft. The partnership will see the Chinese gaming giant invest $297 million into the company, acquiring a 49.9% economic stake with a 5% voting right in Guillemot Brothers Limited.
Additionally, Ubisoft has authorised Tencent to raise its direct stake in the publisher from 4.5% to 9.99% of the capital or voting rights – a stake which apparently won’t be increased further for another eight years. The Guillemot family will also retain exclusive control over Guillemot Brothers Limited.
As for the exact reasoning behind the increased investment, Ubisoft claims that the partnership with Tencent “covers the development of mobile titles from several of Ubisoft’s major franchises and the launch of several of Ubisoft’s PC titles in China.”
In China, mobile gaming encompasses a massive market and the investment is to secure the development of Ubisoft’s biggest mobile titles from its treasure trove of franchises. This also covers PC titles launching in China. Ahead of the Ubisoft Forward showcase this week, the French publisher is doubling down on the Assassin’s Creed franchise which will likely continue to be its priority in the coming years.
Ubisoft previously stated back in May, amidst rumours of the company being acquired, that it will remain independent. As CEO Yves Guillemot put it:
“Our overall position is clear and well known. As we said last February, we have everything we need to remain independent. We have the talent, the industrial and financial scale, and a large portfolio of powerful IPs to create massive value in the coming years.
It has provided us with the plan to build strategic partnerships with the biggest players in entertainment and tech. The current speculation is putting in plain sight the real appeal and value of our assets and of our value creation potential.”
In addition to Assassin’s Creed – which will see the launch of both Mirage and Infinity as its newest titles – Ubisoft holds numerous IPs including Far Cry, Beyond Good and Evil, Rayman, Mario + Rabbids and more. Skull and Bones is scheduled to launch later this year.