Tencent sees booming games growth

Domestic growth and overseas transactions have helped Tencent beat Electronic Arts and Activision Blizzard in terms of revenue for the first three quarters in 2012.
Written by Liu Jiayi, Contributor on

Thanks to China's booming games market and oversea transactions, Chinese Internet giant Tencent has clocked revenues that look on track to beat industry behemoths Electronic Arts and Activision Blizzard.

Shenzhen-based Tencent's online games generated 22.8 billion yuan (US$3.7 billion) in revenue last year, which accounted for over half of the company's total revenue and a year-on-year increase of 47 percent. Based on the revenue from the first three quarters of 2012, Tencent beat both Electronic Arts and Activision Blizzard, clocking the fourth largest games revenue worldwide.

Tencent also continued to dominate the booming Chinese games market which had seen a rapid annual growth of 19.4 percent in 2012. Revenue from the company's online games were bigger than the next nine companies combined, according to a report by GamesIndustry.com which cited iResearch figures.

Tencent's market value also shot to third place among its games competitors, trailing only after Apple and Microsoft.

By devouring its local competitors' market shares, purchasing stocks of foreign companies such as Riot Games and Epic Games, and introducing Call of Duty online to the Chinese market, Tencent has enjoyed exploding growth in the games sector over the last decade, while once-established players such as Sony and Nintendo struggled.

Tencent had been trying to think out of the box and stand out from the competition over the last few years but failed, said Ma Huateng, CEO of Tencent, who was speaking at panel discussion. "Then we found a new avenue when we started to invest in online games. Last year's purchase of Riot Games turned out to be very successful," he said, according to a report in Chinese games news portal 07073.com.

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