It’s undoubtedly been an important year for mobile, as we’ve pointed out previously one of the biggest changes so far has been Take-Two Interactive and Activision-Blizzard posting mobile-first revenue shares for the first time.
We've speculated as to the level competition they would face in Asia from Tencent, but in a recent interview with GameIndustry.biz, CEO of Tencent global games Michelle Liu has commented that this may not be the case. She indicates that their international outreach will have a strong core of AAA and console games to compete with other Western publishers and developers.
Although the interview covered a wide variety of topics about Tencent’s global reach into games, and noted their attempt to diversify their revenue streams, it also saw a key point being made. “‘What we are good at is mobile and our in-house studios are good at generating [great] mobile games. What we want to explore more is to have more partner studios. They have good AAA and AA [experience] and a good production capability. If we can integrate and inspire each other together, I think that's the future.’”
Tencent stepping back from mobile?
The general direction, it seems, is that Tencent is moving towards pushing into console and especially AAA titles. Leveraging their experience with developing mobile games to produce more ‘traditional’ titles for other platforms. There is no indication by any means that Tencent intends to step back from mobile. Rather that they’re building upon that existing business to break into publishing and developing for other platforms.
Tencent famously has a great deal of stake in many Western companies, including ownerships such as Riot Games. What’s key about these companies is that many may provide a blueprint for what Tencent wants to do, as they intend to step into the ring themselves and not via proxy.
Riot Games in particular publish titles from their mega-popular franchise League of Legends on both mobile, console and PC. Therefore, the intention is likely not to build new IP from the ground up, but we may see an expansion of them into new, full-fledged AAA titles.
We may still see companies like Tencent come into conflict with companies like Take-Two Interactive or Activision-Blizzard. However, it may not be in just the mobile market as we may have thought. Mobile gaming is now seeing increased attention after dramatic shifts in revenue share for these key publishers and forming the largest part of overall gaming revenue.
In spite of a potentially shrinking market there is still more than enough evidence that the battleground will be in mobile gaming for these potentially clashing titans.