China’s tech giant TENCENT poised to take over.
The online game industry has shown no signs of slowing down anytime soon, seeing only in the last 10 years tremendous innovative improvement from both the quality of games and player accessibility via the advancement and integration of technology into everyday lives. These positive numbers however are not without their challenges and setbacks, China’s online gaming industry being a perfect example of doing too well, too soon.
Tencent, the tech giants and creators of the most successful online game in China, “Honour of Kings”, are about to make the biggest move in the history of online gaming. Tencent are currently making moves to extend their business presence and users to both the United States and Europe.
Honour of Kings is said to have over 200 million players worldwide, with over 55 million daily players in China alone. Due to the games popularity and addictive nature, Tencent has put in place daily restriction for younger players to help foster their healthy development. Having both raw potential and a glass ceiling enforced on the China market, Tencent has looked to expand it’s market elsewhere.
In a bid to duplicate the success of “Honour of Kings”, Tencent has created a rebranded version of the game for a Western audience titled, “Arena of Valour”. This multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) game’s structure is two teams of five players, each in-game avatar is being individually controlled by a player with their own unique weapons and magic abilities, whichever team destroys the opposing team’s camp first wins.
MOBA style games up until this point were complex PC-based games, with matches that could last well over an hour, ultimately cutting-off a large portion of a willing market. Tencent’s revelation of this while being tech giants in a large game market predominantly built on mobile games is how they’ve managed to create the most successful online game in China to date.
Other examples of the games success are based on it’s simplification of the genre for mobile usage, both reducing the time spent in gameplay to approximately 15-20 minutes only and simplifying game features with a universally approachable game style, in order to cater to both die hard gamers and enthusiasts alike.
Online games have always been built on a foundation of social engagement and accessibility, in the case of Tencent’s “Honour of Kings”, the game integrated China’s social media frontrunner WeChat. Having a social media titan like WeChat, a one stop shop for all forms of social connectivity attached to the game, meant players of the game could connect with friends and other players when and wherever they pleased.
WeChat had 600 million monthly active users in August 2015, and only 70 million of them were outside of China. More recent numbers have shown user growth is now closer to 800 million monthly users and over one billion registered users, WeChat is China’s largest social media network and one of the most popular social apps in the world.
In 2017, Gamify met with WeChat to integrate personalised branded mini-Games into their system with the ability to social share and find competitive players. “We met to see how we could work together to help local companies connect with their customers and also help those customers find other players to compete against in a community based reward challenge” said the CEO of Gamify, Jonny Shannon. “We believe cross-platform partnerships are where the gaming industry is going. We want to make it accessible for any local business to be apart of the Action”.
For more about Cross-Country Marketing and Global Game Marketing see the article – ‘Global Game Marketing’.