WeGame therefore WeAre
You’re unlikely to have heard of Chinese mega-corporation Tencent. Until now they’ve kept things very much Chinese only. That is about to change. They have a flagship gaming platform which has just been redesigned to make it internationally friendly. WeGame could be what we had given up on – an actual competitor for Steam.
How we Know
Niko Partners analyst Daniel Ahmad broke the news on Twitter over the weekend. According to Daniel’s translation the information on Tencent’s page specifies that the platform will support both Chinese and International gamers through a single store.
As it stands Steam currently has more than 125 million users. But Tencent Gaming Platform aka WeGame has more than 200 million users. The Chinese userbase is huge. Once International gamers give it a go WeGame could easily make Steam’s number look insignificant.
Tencent owns a lot of IPs outright which could make for some interesting exclusivity. It could also mean existing players have to run through WeGame although that is mere speculation. Properties of note include League of Legends and Clash of Clans. It also boasts a minority share in Activision Blizzard and Epic Games. A market research firm estimated that Tencent may own up to 13% of the entire games market. And yet we’re still not consciously aware of them.
The WeGame platform will be launched soon but no exact date has been given.
If WeGame wants to play rough they would be within their rights to limit Steam’s access to their games. Aside from slightly denting Steam’s catalogue this is a good thing. Competition means companies strive to do better. While some people have felt Steam is now resting on its laurels that has to come to an end if they’re to keep a loyal fan base. It also means it’s the first time we could literally see a console war with both platforms being on the PC. I remain hopeful that the end result is better gaming for all concerned.