News revealed in tweets from Niko Partners analyst David Ahmad over the weekend inform us that Chinese gaming giant Tencent is rebranding their ‘Tencent Games Platform’ as WeGame ahead of a relaunch that will make the service available to global users as well as those based in China. The tweets from Ahmad described the service as “Tencent’s version of Steam.”
Looks like Tencent will rebrand its ‘Tencent Games Platform’ to ‘WeGame’.
It’s basically Tencent’s version of Steam. pic.twitter.com/Rx7ndSXJVM
— Daniel Ahmad (@ZhugeEX) April 16, 2017
According to further information provided by Ahmad and translated from this original source (Chinese), the new look version of the service will: feature one storefront for all users, allow users and developers to interact, and support localizations.
Tencent Games is widely believed to be the largest gaming company in the world and its parent company Tencent Holdings certainly fits the bill of a Megacorporation, according to Bloomberg they recently became the 10th largest publicly traded company, with a value exceeding $279 Billion dollars. To put that in perspective, that’s a list that includes the likes of tech giants Microsoft and Apple, Investment bank JP Morgan, and oil tycoons Exxon Mobil. On the gaming side of things they own Riot Games, makers of popular MOBA League of Legends, and Clash of Clans developer Supercell, as well as holding minor stakes in other companies including Activision Blizzard and Epic Games.
This pedigree, combined with a gaming platform that already supports an estimated 200 million users in China alone, means that WeGame has the potential to present a viable alternative to Steam’s digital platform and a competitor that Valve will certainly be taking notice of. It is not yet known when WeGame will be made available but a formal announcement of the rebranding is expected on April 20th which should give us some more information.
I’ve used a lot of Steam over the years, as I’m sure many of you have, and apart from the forest of shovelware that exists I don’t have a major problem with the service. That being said, it’s not perfect and more (or more accurately, some) competition is likely to be good for us consumers in the end. I can’t do anything other than welcome this news.