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Steam has a massive new competitor

Tencent is refreshing its games platform for a global audience

Tencent Games Platform
Charlie Hall is Polygon’s tabletop editor. In 10-plus years as a journalist & photographer, he has covered simulation, strategy, and spacefaring games, as well as public policy.

Chinese megacorporation Tencent is refreshing its flagship games platform. The new service, dubbed “WeGame,” will support international users and could give the gaming world its first true competitor to Steam.

The news broke on Twitter over the weekend thanks to Niko Partners analyst Daniel Ahmad. According to his translation, one of the slides on the Tencent splash page indicates that WeGame will “support both Chinese and global users” through a single storefront. That’s significant, because TGP already has more users, some 200 million according to Ahmad, than Steam, which at last count had more than 125 million.

A new focus on Western users, combined with the massive buying power of today’s Asian consumers, could make WeGame a force to be reckoned with.

Look familiar?
Tencent Games Platform 2.0

Tencent is holding plenty of cards with it comes to developing and publishing games. The company owns Riot Games (League of Legends) and Supercell (Clash of Clans) outright. It has a piece of Glu Mobile, makers of Kim Kardashian: Hollywood. It even has a minority stake in both Epic Games and Activision Blizzard.

One market research firm estimates that Tencent controls 13 percent of the entire games market.

The current TGP platform, which a counter says has been downloaded nearly 4.5 billion times already, is here. WeGame should be available soon.

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