Massive Chinese internet and game company Tencent has invested in Artillery, the startup working on free-to-play real-time strategy game Atlas. The game is being developed under the direction of YouTuber Sean "Day" Plott, who serves as the company's head of game design.
The amount of the investment was not disclosed. Tencent is the lead investor in the company's Series A funding round, which also includes participation from First Round Capital, Lowercase Capital, Signia Ventures, General Catalyst, Charlie Cheever, Crunchfund, and "a number" of angel investors.
"It has become clear to us why they are the world leader in online free-to-play games and we feel very fortunate to be working together," wrote Artillery CEO Ankur Pansari of Tencent in a blog post announcing the investment.
The company currently has 22 employees and has plans to expand, Pansari said in a statement.
Atlas, which will begin closed beta testing late this year, was originally planned as an HTML5-based browser game but recently shifted gears to a client-based PC title thanks to technical challenges.
Pansari told VentureBeat that the team's wide experience in the RTS and MOBA genres has led to the design for Atlas. "The crux of what we’ve done is we’ve taken the familiar gameplay of a real-time strategy game, and we tried to make it a lot friendlier and easier to play. So some of the more taxing elements, such as building, is just a bit easier to manage," he said.
Tencent -- which was revealed late last year to be the public company with the highest game revenue in the world -- already owns League of Legends studio Riot Games, and also this year invested in Robot Entertainment, creators of the Orcs Must Die! franchise. Its other investments include Epic Games and Glu Mobile.