Frontier Developments, a UK listed games developer, has received a £17.7m investment from Chinese tech group Tencent in exchange for a 9% stake.
The move is part of the Asian firm’s attempts to expand across Europe and the US following backlash in China over the addictive nature of video games.
Earlier this month, the Financial Times reported that Tencent had lost $15.1bn in market value after it started limiting the amount of time children spent playing ‘Honour of Kings’ – its flagship top-grossing game – following criticism from the authorities.
David Braben, chief executive of Frontier, said: “Tencent is the market leader in the online games industry in China and operating a premium PC games distribution platform, WeGame. This strategic investment will both help drive our scaleup, and improve access and accelerate our growth into the key Chinese market. Tencent will be a powerful partner for Frontier, in what will soon be the world’s largest market for entertainment.”
James Mitchell, chief strategy officer at Tencent, added: “Frontier’s teams utilize highly scalable game engine technology, decades of development experience, and increasingly sophisticated live operations skills to provide highly-engaged players with complex and beautiful game worlds.
“We believe that gamers in China will become increasingly interested in game genres such as space exploration, theme park management and other segments well-suited to Frontier’s strengths, and look forward to helping Frontier reach those future users.”
Founded in 1994, Frontier is headquartered in Cambridge.