Tencent is Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds’ publisher for China, might still acquire Bluehole

Tencent is Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds’ publisher for China, might still acquire Bluehole

Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds firm Bluehole has said it is teaming up with games giant Tencent to launch the title in China.

Korea Times is reporting that Bluehole’s Chang Byung-gyu has said that Tencent will be its publishing partner for that region.

This comes as part of a story the site has run about Tencent’s attempts to acquire the Korean studio. KT says that the Chinese giant offered to buy Bluehole before Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds became a smash hit.

The game maker rejected the offer, but the publication says that due to the success of PUBG, and the impact it has on the company. It is now reportedly worth $5.4bn, with shareholders possibly opting for a sale.

The option of an IPO is also mentioned, but KT reports that this is unlikely due to the political scrutiny Chang will face for attempting to gain wealth from his position.

Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds has sold 20m units as of earlier this week since its March launch. Bluehole has spun off the project into its own company, PUBG Inc.

PUBG is available in China, albeit via Steam which is in somewhat of a grey area in the region. 

That Tencent was interested in Bluehole has been more or less known since August. The story broke then that the Chinese firm was trying to invest in the Korean game maker. Bluehole denied the story then, but in September confirmed that Tencent was indeed trying to make an investment.

Tencent has been upping its interest in games recently, taking a nine per cent stake in Elite Dangerous company Frontier Developments, and investing in UK indie studio Milky Tea

PC games alone made $2bn in revenue for Tencent during Q1 of this fiscal year. 

PCGamesInsider Contributing Editor

Alex Calvin is a freelance journalist who writes about the business of games. He started out at UK trade paper MCV in 2013 and left as deputy editor over three years later. In June 2017, he joined Steel Media as the editor for new site In October 2019 he left this full-time position at the company but still contributes to the site on a daily basis. He has also written for, VGC, Games London, The Observer/Guardian and Esquire UK.