Image Credit: Steam
Tencent wants to take on Steam.
The Chinese game company announced today that it is rebranding its Tencent Games Platform digital store, calling it WeGame. The platform previously primarily served China, but WeGames will be a global service. This news comes from Niko Partners analyst Daniel Ahmad via tweets he made on April 16.
Tencent is the largest gaming company in the world. It owns League of Legends developer Riot Games and has stakes in Activision Blizzard, Supercell, and Epic Games. China’s PC games market was worth $13.8 billion in 2016, according to Newzoo, and Tencent is the main company profiting from the country’s love of PC gaming. Tencent designed the Tencent Games Platform for free-to-play games like League of Legends, but it is now adding paid games (including VR experiences) from Western developers.
Valve’s Steam store has long dominated the PC digital gaming space, having more than 125 million registered accounts. According to Ahmad, Tencent Games Platform already has 200 million users just in China. Its global expansion can help it grow.
Steam is such a dominating force in the PC gaming market that most developers have little choice but to get their games on it. Tencent coming out with a competitor can give game makers more options.