Chinese Internet firm Tencent is preparing to woo an international audience through its PC gaming platform WeGame, currently known as Tencent Games Platform, in a move that could provide strong competition to Valve Corp's US-based Steam.
Known in gaming circles for its ownership of Riot, the Californian studio responsible for League of Legends, Tencent is rebranding its Tencent Games Platform as WeGame, and orienting itself towards a worldwide player base.
Attracting over 100 million players worldwide on a monthly basis, and offering a prize pool of over US$6mil (RM26.40mil) at its 2016 World Championship finals, League or LoL is already one of the globe's biggest videogames.
Tencent pitched in through successive investments in its Los Angeles studio, Riot Games, eventually becoming sole owner in 2015.
The group's dedicated computer gaming portal, Tencent Games Platform, has some 200 million users in China, and is now being prepared for a global audience, according to Daniel Ahmad of analysis firm Niko Partners.
Tencent Games Platform will be renamed WeGame and, from a single online storefront, will welcome visitors from China and around the world, allow developers and users to interact, and support linguistic and cultural localisation, noted Ahmad.
The move is being oriented towards game studios as well as game players.
TGP has already brought several North American and European hits to its Chinese audience, industry news source Gamasutra points out, including Cities Skylines, Stardew Valley and Don't Starve.
Tencent also offers adapted versions of US franchises such as FIFA Online 2, NBA 2K Online and Call of Duty Online.
Being added to the list of imports is Rocket League, a breakout success of the last few years, blending remote control car racing, jet-powered stunts, and traditional ball sports – primarily soccer.
Chinese news site 265G reported on the Rocket League news, soon after observing that website names TencentWeGame.com, TencentWeGame.net and TencentWeGame.cn had already been registered by Tencent.
An official unveiling is expected to take place on April 20, 2017, when the Tencent conference Up2017 takes place.
With that in mind, Tencent's official site, tgp.qq.com, has started alerting visitors to the imminent arrival of "TGP 2.0". — AFP Relaxnews