Epic lands Tencent investment

Colossal Chinese Internet company Tencent is picking up a minority stake in Epic Games, giving the Gears of War developer and Unreal Engine maker a cash injection. They're keeping quiet on how big the investment was and how big a stake Epic sold, but they insist Epic "will continue to operate independently and seek to further expand its game franchises across multiple platforms."

"Tencent's investment will empower Epic to help us do even more of what we do best, which is making great games and game technology," Epic president Mike Capps said in the announcement. "Their expertise in the global online gaming market is second-to-none, and the opportunity to work with them to bring richer experiences to players all over the world is irresistible."

Tencent is a truly huge company, with fingers in pies including MMOs, instant messaging, social networks, online payments and virtual goods. It's an Unreal Engine licensee, too, and probably keen to get in on the shiny Unreal Engine 4 as developers start gearing up for the next console generation.

The deal is expected to close within a month.