Tencent may now be one of the biggest names in the gaming market but there is still one area it has yet to even step into, the US console gaming market. The Chinese company might have that in its cross-hair but it won’t be doing that itself. It could enlist the help of its somewhat new partner Nintendo in helping it expand outside of China at a rather troubled time for the gaming giant.
Some might scoff at Tencent’s clout in the gaming industry but it has grown well beyond its Chinese market roots. In addition to cornering that regional market in terms of PC and mobile games, Tencent has purchased large stakes in Epic Games as well as Activision Blizzard. More importantly, it entered into a partnership with Nintendo a few months back, a partnership that still has to bear fruit for either company.
Tencent’s role in the partnership is to help the Nintendo Switch enter the Chinese market, a market that’s notorious for its regulations and limits on consoles and games. The Switch hasn’t enjoyed the same success in China that made it a legend in other markets and Tencent was not tapped to make Nintendo games. In an almost ironic way, Nintendo’s focus on wholesome content and aversion to microtransactions make it a poor match for the Chinese gaming market, especially in Tencent’s eyes.
Tencent, on the other hand, is completely unfamiliar with console games, its business is focused more on PCs and mobile. It’s still unknown what form its console thrust will take but it might do so by learning from Nintendo. And it better move fast as it stands to lose its lucrative position at home.
China, considered to be one of the world’s biggest gaming markets especially for PCs and mobile, implementing harsher restrictions to curb gaming addiction. It has recently been reported to impose strict curfews on online gamers younger than 18, which could take a huge chunk out of Tencent’s figures. It might, however, find that the US market may be a bit less receptive to its games, considering the tension between the two world powers. There are already suspicions and conspiracy theories regarding Tencent’s influence on Epic Games and Blizzard businesses.