PUBG: Tencent Allegedly Still Interested In Bluehole Acquisition

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PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds
PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds Bluehole

Recent claims that PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds could be banned in China allegedly haven’t stopped one of the country’s largest companies from exploring investment opportunities. It remains to be seen whether Tencent will actually have a chance to acquire a stake in Bluehole, the publisher behind PUBG , but this isn’t the first time reports have emerged about the Chinese holding company’s interest.

Any potential investment or acquisition probably isn’t going to be cheap. Recent reports suggest PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds pushed Bluehole’s valuation to staggering new heights -- some say the company is now valued in excess of $4.6 billion -- meaning even a tiny stake (let’s say one percent) of the company is now valued at more than $40 million. But there’s some reason to believe they could be successful this time. The Korea Times says Tencent made an acquisition offer before PUBG became the smash hit it is today, but was rebuffed at the time.

The paper believes a second offer might find more success because few companies have the resources to acquire a multi-billion dollar corporation. An even smaller number are interested in spending that kind of money on a video game publisher. Bluehole can’t resort to an initial public offering (IPO), because founder Chang Byung-gyu remains chairman of South Korea’s Fourth Industrial Revolution committee. Tencent is also Bluehole’s current publishing partner in China and has established success marketing games in the region. The acquisition would also give Tencent a second marquee title, alongside League of Legends, for its recently launched WeGame service, giving the holding company significant incentive to make a generous offer.

For more on the future of PUBG, check out Greene’s thoughts on mod support, parity between the game’s graphics settings and the potential addition of a cinematic camera suite. Or revisit our conversation with PUBG Corp. CEO Chang Han Kim, including an explanation for the lack of rocket launchers in Battlegrounds and insight on the growing pains that come with selling 20 million copies of a game in less than a year.

PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds is available in Early Access. The launch build is expected to hit Steam in late December and a Xbox One port is currently slated for Dec. 12.

Be sure to check back with Player.One and follow Scott on Twitter for more PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds news in 2017 and as long as PUBG Corp. supports PUBG in the years ahead.

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