Analyst suggests Tencent’s new global games service will compete with Steam

If you’re not a big fan of Steam’s dominance of gaming trends in the west, maybe you think a competitor will do the service some good — and a competitor does indeed to appear to be on the way.

A tweet lobbed by Niko Partners games industry analyst Daniel Ahmad on Easter sent games journalist scurrying to cover his claim that Tencent is planning a relaunch of its existing games platform as a global Steam-competitor dubbed WeGame. The existing service, Tencent Games Platform, already has 200 million users in China, but when relaunched, it’ll service the west too, beginning with a release of 100 games from primarily western developers. Gamasutra reports that Stardew Valley and Don’t Starve are already on the platform, the latter having sold a million copies there in its first month.

Tencent is already the largest gaming company in the world and according to Bloomberg is currently the 10th largest publicly traded company on the planet. Massively OP readers know it best as the company that owns League of Legends studio Riot Games.

Oh yeah, and then there’s the latest bit he retweeted.

It’s gonna be an interesting next couple of years.

Source: Twitter via Gamasutra
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21 Comments on "Analyst suggests Tencent’s new global games service will compete with Steam"

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Wendigo Runner

This is some great news. Frankly, Steam doesn’t ever do anything unless it reaches critical mass in the media and / or legalities are involved. They couldn’t care less otherwise. Then there’s the complete cesspool that its ‘communities’ have become, the porn in the Artwork and screenshot sections of some games, mods being used as tools in forum arguments etcetc.

I’ll gladly move to a competitor.

quark1020
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quark1020

….porn, you say.

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Wendigo Runner

Ayup. Being the Internet it’s easy enough to find but feel free to check your games’ artwork categories.

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Sally Bowls

I think Steam is an interesting question.

Steam is the absolutely dominant PC game platform. One dev on Gamasutra said they were no longer an indie dev, they made games for a proprietary platform. Thinking that this monopoly will continue to be dominant is a very logical opinion.

OTOH, there are some big people gunning for them, e.g.: Facebook, Amazon, Microsoft and Ten Cent. F A M & T have all had failures and made crap. But looking at their track record, and the power of vast sums of money, I am not sure how wise it is to bet against them. Brand and money mean they don’t have to get something right the first time. or second. or third. In particular, I am not sure about betting against Microsoft about things that run on an operating system Microsoft controls. e.g. http://www.pcworld.com/article/3164140/windows/epic-ceo-calls-rumored-windows-cloud-os-windows-10-crush-steam-edition.html

P.S.: here is where I think gambling would be useful: crowdsource the predictions by seeing how people would bet on 2027 Steam: continued monopoly, still strong, or no longer #1

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Sorenthaz

Yeah I’ll pass on that. I don’t really ever understand the hipster-esque gripes about Steam, but I’m content with it.

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Rottenrotny

BZZZZZT
Oh, that’s the incorrect answer!
The correct answer was:
No, the average PC gamer is satisfied with using only Steam.

This sounds like when people say ____ will finally be the MMO that kills WoW. lol worthy.

Line
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Line

Unlike social media, it’s excruciatingly difficult to replace a digital store.
With no way to transfer your purchased products, it’s complicated; to say the least; to compete with a leader that generates 99% of multi platform sales…

Of course, they could do it like EA and keep their games exclusives, kinda expected, even.
Doesn’t always mean that’s it a good choice, Microsoft is bleeding in a ditch somewhere in PC land.

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Brother Maynard

They could also do what GOG has started doing recently – offering a free migration of your Steam games into your GOG library. The transfer tool uses Steam’s own API and you can do the whole thing with a few clicks directly in the GOG client.

So far they only did this with a few games, but if the test works well, it may be the way to go. For Steam’s smaller competitors it is vital to give their users the extra flexibility, even if it means giving you the GOG version of the game ‘for free’.

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Arktouros

I remember when Steam came along (I was still using Direct2Drive for my digital downloading needs) and I resisted it as long as I could. But eventually I gave in and it annoyed me I had a bunch of games on one service and not the other.

I get everyone wants a piece of the game distribution pie but, frankly speaking, it’s getting super old to have to install a game distribution program every time a major company releases a game. Steam, Battle.Net, Origin, UPLAY…it’s like I’m to the point I actively avoid certain companies/games just because I don’t want to install their damn launcher service that communicates with nothing else.

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Schmidt.Capela

I’m far past that point. If a game has DRM, it better be the Steam DRM or else I’m simply not getting the game; I’m not going to install some other provider of DRM on my computer.

If the game is DRM-free and I can download a standalone installer, though, I don’t mind getting it from whichever site happens to be selling it.

Xijit
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Xijit

I was about to say “Bwahahahaha, bitch please …” but then I remembered that they are a Chinese company & that means Steam will probably be embargoed in china within the next 6 to 8 months.

As far as outside of China, this will bomb … badly … but inside China they will get propped up and given a near monopoly by the government, which in turn will include publishers being pressured to support the platform if they ever want to see their games sold in China again.

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Schlag Sweetleaf
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BalsBigBrother

Hmm its just a store front like any other and if they have games I want to play at a price I am willing to pay /shrugs

quark1020
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quark1020

It does mean I’ll have to constantly look between the two if I want to get the best sales for games. I know what first got me into steam was their random flash sales, where a currently $60 game was sold at 70% off for a day or so.

Sales don’t go as low anymore these days, unless its a particularly unpopular game, but I still keep an eye out for discounts of games I’m at least semi interested in.

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MesaSage

Not sure that Steam should be worried as much as perhaps Amazon. If Tencent switches to 5 and Dime, they can make some real dough selling stuff.

Karma_Mule
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Karma_Mule

I was really struck by the sentence that TenCent is “….the 10th largest publicly traded company on the planet”. I was surprised a gaming publisher/company was that big, but after reading more about them in Wikipedia it looks like they dabble in much more than just that.

I also liked that the translation for their company name is “Soaring information”. :)

Crow
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Crow

This is the core of the argument where we can’t treat gaming as different from any other medium. They see a billions+ market so that’s where this goes.

Yes. That means that the racists assholes in general culture are in your game. The only way to avoid this is to dev for a smaller playerbase. That means cutting your own dev ability which players also don’t like.

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Greaterdivinity

I see lots of interest in China…but not in the West. It’ll be the West’s gateway to the Chinese market more than anything else.

Western gamers don’t embrace Asian games in the droves they used to (though we’re seeing a great return in popularity for a number of Japanese devs/publishers, which is great), and especially not from China. There are already some decent competitors with Origin and GOG Galaxy (uplay is a bloody joke), though Steam still reigns supreme.

Curious as to the “other” competitors. Because about 4-5 years ago there was a big push towards more publishers creating their own digital distribution platforms (it’s around the time Origin and Uplay were initially announced/launched), but that kinda petered out pretty quickly.

I’m down for more competition for Valve, they need some serious kicks in the ass to get them back on track and off this, “But we want a totally unregulated marketplace!” nonsense. But I’m pretty skeptical right now.

Richard de Leon III
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Richard de Leon III

I’ll still be loyal to steam for one main reason, I already have too many games on it to start a collection on another game portal. If i were to switch platforms, I would be GoG since they insist on no DRM, their only weakness being their limited library.

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thalendor

Eh, I wouldn’t be “worried” about Steam and any games you may have on it. Steam probably has a big enough first-mover advantage in the West at this point that displacing it as the dominant digital distribution for PC games will be extremely difficult. That said, if this forces Valve to improve Steam in any way, I won’t complain.

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Veldan

exactly my thoughts

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