TriplePoints of Interest – Week of December 14

This week: new challengers approach the arena in Super Smash Bros., Riot Games gets bought by Tencent, and Star Wars: The Force Awakens kicks off to a great start! 

3 New Fighters Join the Battle

The final Nintendo Direct for the Wii U/3DS Super Smash Bros happened this Tuesday. A couple of exciting announcements were made including the additions of Corrin from Fire Emblem, Cloud from Final Fantasy VII, and Bayonetta. The next wave of Amiibo figures were also revealed and will officially go on sale on March 18th. Curious for more? Check out the comprehensive recap of the broadcast written by GameSpot.

Tencent Fully Acquires Riot Games

Riot Games, developer of League of Legends, has been bought in full by Tencent Holdings Ltd. Before the purchase, Tencent was the majority shareholder of Riot, owning a 85% stake after first investing in the company in 2011, reports Tech Crunch. The Chinese internet giant also has investments in Activision Blizzard, Epic Games and Glu Mobile, along with its messaging services QQ and WeChat. League of Legends today is now the highest grossing online PC game in the world, as well as a leader in the eSports industry. Interestingly, the announcement was actually made fairly discreetly in the middle of a post on Riot Games’ compensation changes and rapidly picked up by top media.

The Force Awakens

Last, but definitely not least – one of the year’s most highly anticipated events, the premiere of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens”, kicked off this week. Starting with the world premiere earlier this week in Los Angeles, fans and press alike were treated to the sights of Stormtroopers, cast members, and even BB-8, R2-D2 and C-3PO on the red carpet. Though tonight will be the official opening in the U.S., previews alone have already pulled in a record-breaking $57 million for the franchise, reports CNBC. At risk of exposing ourselves to spoilers, we can’t dig in too deep about the film itself, but initial reviews of the movie have been overwhelmingly positive with many calling it the best Star Wars installment since “Return of the Jedi”. Despite the film’s box office success, the real profit still lies in the franchise’s merchandising, which Forbes estimates will generate $3 billion in 2015 sales and $5 billion over the next 12 months.