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Tencent buys Japanese video game studio Wake Up Interactive


The Chinese Internet and video game giant Tencent has acquired the Japanese studio Wake Up Interactive, which has signed several titles for the Nintendo Switch and PlayStation consoles, according to the Bloomberg agency.

Tencent, which notably signs the successful mobile game Honor of kings, has acquired 90% of the studio’s shares for more than 5 billion yen (55.3 million Canadian dollars), according to Bloomberg, who quotes people familiar with the matter.

The Japanese studio already owns the Tokyo developer Soleil, behind several successes for the Nintendo Switch console (Ninjala) and PlayStation 4 (Samurai Jack: Battle Through Time).

Restrictions in China

Tencent has suffered in recent months from new regulatory restrictions in China on video games and the tech sector.

Since the end of the summer, the authorities have imposed a weekly limit of three hours maximum of online video games for those under 18, in order to reduce dependence on screens among the youngest.

The Chinese group announced this week that its sales in the third quarter had increased by only 13% over one year, the slowest pace since 2004.

The takeover of Wake Up Interactive is one of several deals Tencent has made with Japanese video game makers this year, according to Bloomberg.

In September, Chinese video game makers, including Tencent, pledged to avoid all content politically harmful of their products and to respect the restrictions imposed on minors.

Earlier this year, Tencent was forced to give up its exclusive music rights for streaming, with the regulator accusing the company of carrying out a illegal concentration of commercial operators.

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