Tencent hopes Season Passes will help revitalise games growth after decline

Publisher is now clear of China's licensing freeze

Tencent hopes Season Passes will help revitalise games growth after decline

Tencent has withstood China’s nine-month-long licensing freeze from 2018 with just a one per cent year-on-year decline in online games revenue to 28.5 billion RMB ($4.1bn) in Q1 2019.

Despite that decline, cash receipts increased 10 per cent from Q1 2018.

Revenue for smartphone games fell two per cent year-on-year to 21.2bn RMB ($3.1bn), though this was up 11 per cent from the previous quarter.

Over on PC, sales declined two per cent year-on-year to 13.8bn RMB ($2bn), though were up 24 per cent quarter-on-quarter.

Overall company sales for Tencent increased by 16 per cent from the year prior to 85.4bn RMB ($12.7bn). Profit for the period was reported at 27.8bn RMB ($4.1bn), also an increase of 16 per cent.

Future growth

Tencent highlighted the success of its recent release Perfect World late last quarter, which it said has contributed “substantially” to cash receipts, but only “modestly” to revenue.

As Tencent looks to now fuel the growth of its mobile games business, it’s eyeing up big new launches - such as the recent release of Game for Peace - and the introduction of Season Passes to its key games.

“The introduction of Season Passes in overseas games such as Fortnite and PUBG Mobile has meaningfully contributed to their user engagement, paying ratios and revenue generation, and we are in the early stages of experimenting with Season Passes in some of our key games in China, such as CrossFire Mobile, Honor of Kings and QQ Speed Mobile,” read a Tencent statement.

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Craig Chapple is a freelance analyst, consultant and writer with specialist knowledge of the games industry. He has previously served as Senior Editor at, as well as holding roles at Sensor Tower, Nintendo and Develop.