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Tencent Games will shut down its Steam-like mobile game platform WeGame in September

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Tencent Games

Highlights:

  • Tencent will close its mobile games portal WeGame this September.
  • The application will no longer be available for download from July 15.
  • The company reveals that it plans “changes in business development strategy.”

Tencent Games is closing its mobile game platform, WeGame, this September. As per a report, China’s WeGame application will no longer be available for download from July 15. Following it, the platform will stop operating in early September.  The platform originally debuted back in 2017 and now has more than 200 million registered users. However, it appears that the global rollout of the platform wasn’t successful and it turns out that the company is ceasing the app’s operation now.

The company reveals that it plans “changes in business development strategy.” As a prerequisite, the platform is no longer accepting new user registrations, which means you cannot log in right now. Users will not be able to download the app starting July 15. The mobile application of WeGame may be shutting down, but players on PC won’t be affected. Tencent has confirmed that the PC version will continue to remain operational. Additionally, some features from the mobile application will be transferred to the PC version. WeGame’s mobile shutdown comes amidst tough times for China’s video game industry recently. Regulatory pressure from the country’s government has been weighing down tech companies like Tencent.

Tencent will close its mobile games portal WeGame

Last year, China’s antitrust regulators blocked Tencent’s plan to merge streaming platforms Douyu and Huya, pushed since 2020. If this deal would have gone through, the singular platform would have made up 80 percent of the market share. The conglomerate has been trying to cross deals between Tencent platforms regardless, and received hefty fines in the process. The company is slashing thousands of jobs in an effort to cut costs. Besides WeChat, the live video-blogging app VueVlog and news aggregator app Kuai Bao – both owned by Tencent – are ceasing operations.

The WeGame app has an “awkward positioning” in the market, said Zhang Yi, chief executive at iiMedia Research. “Tencent’s game products belong to various studios, each backed by their own personnel, budget, and development and operational resources”, which made WeGame “a bit redundant”, he said. Also last year, Tencent saw its slowest annual top-line growth since the company went public in 2004. The Shenzhen-based company was in the process of slashing thousands of jobs.

“In the larger context of Tencent trying to reduce costs and increase efficiency, products that neither make money nor have any strategic prospects need to be cut off,” said iiMedia’s Zhang. “It will not be surprising to see more Tencent products being shut down in the future.”

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