China closes gaming siege and Tencent bets on West – 09/13/2022 – Tec

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You may not even know what Tencent is, but you’ve probably played a title from the Chinese tech conglomerate, which is considered the world’s largest gaming company by revenue by consultancy Newzoo and which is expanding its empire in the West.

Last Tuesday (6), Ubisoft announced that the Chinese conglomerate has increased its stake in the French company. Under the deal, Tencent, which already owned about 5% of Ubisoft’s shares, will also own 49.9% of Guillemot Brothers Limited, the company of the company’s founders and its largest shareholder, in exchange for an investment of 300 million euros. 1.5 billion dollars).

As part of the deal, the Chinese company may also increase its direct stake in Ubisoft to around 10%. However, the control of the company remains with its founders, the Guillemot family.

“The extension of the agreement with Tencent further strengthens Ubisoft’s ownership interest around its founders and provides the company with essential stability for its long-term development,” CEO Yves Guillemot said in a statement released by the company.

Tencent was founded in 1998 in Shenzhen, China. Its first product was an instant messaging program that copied the old ICQ even in name – OICQ, now called QQ, but which became very popular in China.

Leveraging the app’s user base, the company began expanding its portfolio in the early 2000s to include games. At first, the bet was only on occasional titles or licensing and adapting games for the Chinese audience. That changed in 2011, when the company became the majority shareholder of Riot, the developer of League of Legends, acquiring 92.8% of the company’s shares.

The investment in the Californian company marked a new stage in the game market for Tencent, which has started investing in dozens of foreign studios and developers.

In addition to Riot, whose remaining shares were acquired in 2015, are among the studios fully controlled by the Chinese conglomerate: American Turtle Rock Studios, known for multiplayer shooters such as “Evolve” and “Back 4 Blood”, and Norway’s Funcom. Specializing in MMOs and creator of survival game “Conan Exiles”.

These studios are joined by others in which, as with Ubisoft, Tencent shares a stake with other groups. For example:

  • Epic Games (40%): It is itself a US-based conglomerate of studios and companies responsible for “Fortnite” and the developer of the Unreal Engine game creation tool, one of the most widely used in the industry.

  • FromSoftware (16.25%): The Japanese studio behind the “Dark Souls” series and the hits “Bloodbourne”, “Sekiro” and “Elden Ring”.

  • Supercell (84%): Finnish mobile game studio responsible for “Clash of Clans”, “Clash Royale” and “Brawl Stars”.

  • did not nod (22.6%): French company known for developing successful graphic adventures such as “Life Is Strange” and “Tell Me Why”.

Although Tencent owns full or majority ownership of some of these studios, it still seems to maintain a policy of non-interference in their management.

“[A Tencent] “Looks after his ‘family’, but it seems from afar that he allows the companies he buys or invests in to remain autonomous,” analyst Daniel Ahmed told US website Polygon. “Riot remains Riot, Supercell remains Supercell.”

In 2019, Tim Sweeney, the founder and CEO of Epic Games, already revealed this when talking about his company’s relationship with Tencent. “Now we have a number of outside investors. Tencent is the biggest. All Epic investors are our friends and partners. No one can dictate Epic’s decisions.” A series of tweets In response to rumors that a Chinese company installed spyware on the Epic Games Store. “All major decisions about Epic are made here in the US, and as CEO I am 100% responsible for them.”

Participation in foreign studios is important for Tencent as the Chinese government tightens its grip on the country’s technology industry, including its gaming sector, tightening regulations and creating barriers to online gaming consumption.

Under Chinese law, all new video games must be approved by a government authority before they can be sold to the public. In April, after almost a year without any title being confirmed, China released the games again. Since then, according to Hong Kong’s South China Morning Post, 241 titles have been approved, but none from Tencent or NetEase, the country’s two biggest game makers.

In addition, since last August, minors can only play online for one hour a day, and only from Friday to Sunday – Tencent, the developer of “Dignity of Kings”, whose success has already worried the Chinese government, is one of them. The most severely affected by the rule.

The result of this can be seen in the company’s balance sheets. In its most recent filing in August, the company reported a 1% decline in gaming revenue in the second quarter of the fiscal year, both domestically and internationally — a result entirely due to a slowdown in the gaming market. However, in the previous quarter, while the company’s gaming revenue in China fell 1%, overseas revenue rose 4%.

Even with this recent expansion in the West, the domestic market still accounts for about 75% of Tencent’s gaming revenue. Something that, at least with his latest moves, could change in the not-too-distant future.


Game tip, new or old, for you to check out

Nintendo Switch Sports


Queen Elizabeth II, who died last Thursday (8), was reportedly not a big fan of video games. Still, according to British tabloid Mirror, the monarch was excited about “Wii Sports” bowling when Prince William won a Wii from his then-girlfriend Kate Middleton. If you have a Wii tucked away in your closet, you can pull out the console and experience the game that captivated the Queen. If not, your best bet is “Nintendo Switch Sports,” an update of the 2006 game for the Switch. In it, the player uses the controller’s motion sensors to play six sports, including, of course, bowling.


News, launches, business and other things that matter

  • At a special event, Ubisoft revealed the upcoming releases planned for the future of the “Assassin’s Creed” franchise. In addition to the Mirage announced last week, the company revealed that the next big game in the series will be set in feudal Japan. He also announced a new mobile game set in ancient China and a mysterious title that seems to have something to do with witches. With the exception of Mirage, which is slated for 2023, all games do not yet have a release date.
  • The company also revealed a partnership with Netflix to release three free games exclusively for the streaming platform’s subscribers starting in 2023. The first title will be a sequel to “Valiant Hearts,” a puzzle/adventure inspired by World War I stories; Second, a new game from the “Mighty Quest” action series; And finally, a mobile game from the “Assassin’s Creed” franchise. Netflix has also announced that it will be making a live-action series based on the franchise.
  • Disney announced at a special event about its upcoming releases in the gaming world that it is developing a game featuring Captain America and Black Panther, set during World War II. The as-yet-untitled title is supposed to mix action and espionage and features Amy Hennig, screenwriter of the “Uncharted” franchise.
  • In a move that even seems to be coordinated with the latest bulletin, Nintendo has announced that it will be removing “Lot Boxes” from the mobile game “Mario Kart Tour” in October. Currently, the game allows you to buy “miles” that give you random prizes like characters and cars. The mechanics will be replaced by a virtual shop, where the player will be able to purchase the item of his choice.
  • After Microsoft’s president said he hoped to keep the “Call of Duty” series on Sony’s consoles for many years, PlayStation CEO Jim Ryan said the US company’s real offer would only guarantee three more years beyond the current contract. during. be “unacceptable on many levels”.


Games coming out in the coming days and promotions that are worth it

13. Set

“ScourgeBringer”: BRL 39.90 (iOS), price not available (Android)

“Little Orpheus”: BRL 77.45 (Switch), price not available (PC, Xbox One/X/S, PS 4/5)

14. Set

“You suck while parking”*: BRL 59.96 (Xbox One/X/S), price not available (PC)

15. Set

“Splitgate”: Free (PC, Xbox One/X/S, PS 4/5)

“Game of Despot”*: BRL 28.99 (PC), price not available (Xbox One/X/S, PS 4/5, Switch)

“Bear and Breakfast”: BRL 37.99 (switch)

“Wayward Strand”: BRL 74.95 (Switch), price not available (PC, Xbox One/X/S, PS4/5)

“Metal: Hellsinger”*: BRL 147.45 (Xbox X/S), BRL 214.90 (PS 5), price not available (PC)

17. Set

“Return to Monkey Island”: BRL 64.95 (computer, switch)

*Available on Xbox Game Pass

Promotions of the week

  • A promotional bundle with 17 games from the developer for 2K on sale at Humble Bundle. For $16 (R$82), you’ll get every game in the XCOM and Bioshock series, as well as Borderlands 3, Civilization 6, Mafia Remastered, and more. The action lasts until the 22nd, part of the paid amount will be transferred to charity.

  • In another perk, Humble Bundle, in partnership with Disney, is selling a 17-game bundle that includes titles from the “Star Wars” and “Alien” franchises, as well as remastered classic point-and-click adventures. For US$10 (R$51), games like “Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga,” “Star Wars: The Force Unleashed,” “Grim Fandango Remastered,” “Full Throttle Remastered,” among others, can be purchased. . The campaign continues until the 24th and part of the proceeds will be used for charity.


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