Gamasutra recently revealed a financial report of Chinese conglomerate Tencent Holdings Limited. Tencent has contributed to a wide range of media but readers likely know them best for either PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds or as the owners of League of Legends.
Their involvements with gaming go much deeper than that though with shares in Ubisoft, Grinding Gear Games, Miniclip, Riot Games, Epic Games and even Activision Blizzard. As of March 2018, Tencent was officially listed as the largest video game company in the world. You might think then that the success of their games is crucial in how well the company as a whole performs. Apparently not though.
In 2019, Tencent reported total revenue of $12.4 billion and a profit of $4.1 billion, a 16% increase compared to 2018. These impressive numbers come in spite of a surprising lack of growth within their online games business. This part of the company actually decreased by 1% and mobile games a further 2%. Its the same story for their core PC games market which also dropped total sales by 2% compared to 2018.
Tencent is the kind of company that refuses to put all its eggs in one basket. Whilst video games make up a sizable portion of the company’s focus, they also own companies in film, TV, comics, and music. One of Tencent’s largest properties is QQ, an instant messaging platform exclusive to China. Bringing in around 65o million active users, QQ is the world’s 6th most visited website.
Perhaps unsurprising for a company of their size, controversy seems to always be around every corner. Their latest change was a complete rebranding of PUBG Mobile in Chinese markets in order to better meet the country’s strict media guidelines. Now titled Game for Peace, the mobile battle royale game has been infected with some not so subtle Chinese propaganda.
Tencent themselves have labeled Game for Peace as “a tribute to the warriors who defend China’s air space“. That might seem like a nice touch at first but the reality is this is just a method of getting Chinese regulators to approve it for monetization. They were successful and Game for Peace has already made $14 million in its first three days of release.
I’m a passionate games critic who has been writing actively since 2015. I have a particular interest in both racing games and JRPGs as well as a love for Overwatch and its eSports scene. I consider gaming and writing my two big passions in life. So much so that I’m currently studying a one of a kind degree that covers both in one! My goal in life is simply to become a renowned critic who is respected for his opinions.