By Ashley Galina Dudarenok China was one of the first countries to contain the COVID-19 epidemic with relative success, and the economy is better for it. The National Statistics Bureau reported 4.9% growth in China’s Q3 GDP year-on-year, showing improvement against both its 3.2% growth in Q2, and [...]
More than 40 new game products and updates were unveiled at the Tencent Games Annual Conference
Tencent Games, the gaming arm of Chinese Internet giant Tencent, held its Annual Conference on June 27 to unveil the company’s upcoming plans for game releases and partnerships.
As the operator of the largest online gaming community in China, Tencent Games currently offers more than 140 self-developed and licensed games across 200 countries and regions.
Honor of Kings, PUBG MOBILE (the highest-earning game in the world) and League of Legends are some of the most popular games under Tencent Games’ umbrella (League of Legends through Tencent’s acquisition of publisher Riot Games).
Tencent Senior Vice President Steven Ma opened the conference. In his remarks, he emphasized that Tencent Games’ strategy will focus on Technology, Gameplay, and Storylines to enhance gaming experiences globally.
“Globally, the popularity of new technologies is accelerating, the innovation cycle of gameplay is shortening, and the creation of story IP is also becoming richer. The game industry is at the stage for a new generation of exciting possibilities,” Ma said.
“There is no better time than now to seize the opportunity, nurture our imaginations, explore new boundaries of creativity, and bring new values to the game community,” he added.
According to the company, Tencent’s global network provides technical resources and solutions to over 100 game developers and studios around the world to fuel the development of new games.
In the press statement, the company also highlighted its partnerships with some of the world’s top universities to develop a pipeline of top-tier talent that will power the industry’s future growth. Tencent’s Firework Plan, initiated by Tencent Institute of Games, also works along these lines to develop talent and incubate creativity for the industry.
At the Annual Conference, Tencent Games announced several new partnerships and game titles within popular franchises, including a collaboration with Japan-based game developer SNK CORPORATION to develop a new mobile game for the classic arcade franchise Metal Slug, first launched in 1996.
Other upcoming partnerships include collaboration on Pokémon UNITE, the first strategic Pokémon team battle game for the Nintendo Switch and mobile devices, and a mobile version of role-playing game Dungeon&Fighter.
The global video game market is forecast to be worth $159 billion in 2020, which far outstrips the revenue generated by other entertainment sectors like the music industry, which generated $57 billion in 2019.
Asia-Pacific is the biggest games market by revenue, while North America accounts for a quarter of the global total.
Widespread lockdowns implemented to curb the spread of the global pandemic Covid-19 have boosted engagement in gaming, typically an at-home activity. Tencent Games’ revenue from online games in Q1 2020 grew by 31% year-on-year to $5.27 billion, accounting for more than 34.5% of Tencent’s total Q1 revenue of $15.3 billion.
The Chinese conglomerate’s market cap has been rising steadily since March and had briefly soared to a record high of $600 billion, last week.
According to a joint report by App Annie and IDC, there were a record 1.2 billion new game downloads in the week starting March 29. The report found that as countries went into lockdown, game downloads increased. Worldwide, users downloaded 35% more mobile games per week in March compared to January this year.
This growing popularity of video games has also given rise to concerns about gaming addiction among minors.
In May, Tencent Games pushed its users to complete a real-name registration process to curb gaming addiction. The system has been widely applied to multiple Tencent Games’ titles, including Honor of Kings and Peacekeeper Elite.
Last month, Tencent Games upgraded its protection measures for minors and applied facial recognition to prevent irrational purchasing without parental supervision and fight gaming addiction.
Header image courtesy of Tencent Games