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Hot Five: Tencent’s newest gameplan, PlatinumGames’ pullout, and investing into Indian Esports

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Hot Five: Tencent’s newest gameplan, PlatinumGames’ pullout, and investing into Indian Esports
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Start your week right with our quick take on the stories that are impacting the mobile industry right now.

In our first Hot Five of 2024, we’ve curated the biggest stories you need to know from the last seven days, helping you get primed and ready for another week in mobile gaming.

1) Tencent sells app store to Huya ahead of Chinese crackdown

As investments are down and divestments are commonplace, Chinese tech conglomerate Tencent has sold one of its app stores to livestream platform operator Huya for $81 million. Notably, Tencent became Huya’s largest stakeholder in back in 2020 with a 50.1% stake, and following Huya's purchase of the store (believed to be APKPure), its stock price raised by approximately 4%.

The deal took place ahead of China’s proposed updates to its gaming regulations, which include aims to curb play incentives and ban gacha mechanics.

2) Tencent is now spending over HK$1 billion A DAY on its own shares

In other Tencent news, billions were wiped from the giant’s stock market value as a result of China’s suggested legislative changes. The company has used this opportunity to buy back plenty of its own shares - HK$1 billion’s worth per day, in fact - taking advantage of the bargain price and showing confidence in an eventual bounce back.

Tencent was already buying back shares ahead to the 12% market value drop in December, but only a fraction as many with HK$375 million in spending per day last year. The intake has more than doubled, therefore, following the region’s suggested overhauls.

3) PlatinumGames pulls the plug on Apple Arcade exclusive World of Demons

Bayonetta and NieR: Automata creator PlatinumGames is pulling its popular action puzzler World of Demons from Apple Arcade this month. The title will be delisted from on January 18 before becoming unplayable on February 1.

This is an especially noteworthy move as the game being pulled is PlatinumGames’ first foray into mobile, having originally released in 2018 before vanishing and reappearing on Apple’s subscription service in 2021.

4) U.S. consumer tech market eyes 2.8% growth, crossing the $512 billion mark in 2024

2.8% growth in US consumer technology retail revenues has been forecast for 2024, expected to reach $512 billion. This would mark a $14 billion rise on 2023, with the Consumer Technology Association expecting that developments in artificial intelligence will accelerate growth for consumer technology companies.

After all, across apps, browsers and device software, more than 230 million smartphones and PCs being shipped to the US this year are expected to leverage generative AI technology.

5) Marcos Gaming completes pre-seed round to bolster Indian Esports

Indian Esports organisation Marcos Gaming has completed a pre-seed fund as it seeks to build up the region’s Esports community and become a leader within it. Funding was led by India Accelerator and Finvolve, and the money is expected to go towards content creation and IP development.

"Marcos Gaming, with its promising trajectory, embodies the kind of forward-thinking ventures we are eager to support. Our joint investment underscores our confidence in the team’s capabilities and the potential for Marcos Gaming to emerge as a trailblazer in the gaming sector," said India Accelerator co-founder and COO Abhay Chawla.