Steam has stood untouchable for years as THE marketplace for PC gaming. Several companies have tried to compete such as Origin (EA’s online platform), Uplay (Ubisoft’s online platform), GoG and Galaxy (Good Old Games platform), Blizzard, Microsoft Live store, gameroom from Facebook, and Twitch adding direct sales through Amazon. However none of these services has made a dent in Steam. But could that change? Now it is time for Tencent vs Steam.
Tencent has 200 million users and controls 13% of the worldwide games market. Tencent is massive in China. It offers a social network, web portals, and an e-commerce hub. As well it makes its own mobile and MMOBA games. Currently Tencent also owns Riot Games which makes League of Legends and Supercell which makes Clash of Clans but also has minority stakes in Epic Games and Activision Blizzard.
Tencent is looking to rebrand its “Tencent Games Platform” which is Tencent’s version of Steam to “WeGame“. This new service will support international users as well as its Chinese base. As stated, its Chinese base is already 200 million users. Steam only has 125 million active users as of 2015.
Tencent was originally designed for Free-to-Play (F2P) games such as League of Legends. Recently Tencent has been adding paid titles from Western developers. Daniel Ahmad, an analyst at Niko Partners, claims they “plan to release 100 new paid games, primarily from Western developers, on the platform in 2017.” Ahmad also claimed that Tencent started changing its platform last year to specifically compete with Steam.
So this is Tencent vs Steam in the ring. Tencent in the red trunks, Steam in the blue. Is this the company to finally bring down the giant? It seems this company already is an even bigger giant. With a F2P base and only 100 paid Western titles coming to the platform will those numbers be enough to officially take over? Both sides return to your corners and come out swinging.