China’s Tencent buys into French game developer Voodoo

Tencent is enjoying a boost from the coronavirus pandemic, with lockdowns forcing billions of people to stay indoors for weeks on end. — Reuters pic
Tencent is enjoying a boost from the coronavirus pandemic, with lockdowns forcing billions of people to stay indoors for weeks on end. — Reuters pic

PARIS, Aug 18 — French video game developer Voodoo said yesterday it had sold a minority stake to Chinese tech giant Tencent which is caught in a standoff with US President Donald Trump over its hugely popular WeChat social media app.

Founded in 2013, and known for its easy-to-play smartphone games, Voodoo is now valued at €1.2 billion (RM5.97 billion), according to a company statement which did not divulge the amount of the Tencent investment.

The transaction, Voodoo added, will help “develop its growth strategy and adapt its games to the Asian market.”

Tencent — one of the world’s largest smartphone gaming companies — is enjoying a boost from the coronavirus pandemic, with lockdowns forcing billions of people to stay indoors for weeks on end.

The Voodoo statement said its cofounder Alexandre Yazdi will remain the principal stakeholder and will retain control of the group, alongside the current board of directors.

Paris-based Voodoo has developed games such as Helix Jump, Baseball Boy, Snake vs Block, Hole.io, Aquapark.io, and Purple Diver, which have minimalist interfaces and do not require tutorials.

Helix Jump, downloaded 500 million times, consists of guiding a bouncing ball down a spiral maze.

Goldman Sachs invested €172 million in Voodoo in 2018.

Trump has recently ratcheted up tensions with China and has announced a ban from mid-September on Chinese internet giants WeChat and TikTok, citing national security concerns. — AFP-Relaxnews

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