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Tencent to boost mobile game remakes to attract global studios

The video game division of Chinese internet conglomerate Tencent Holdings Ltd. is to increase its publication of mobile versions of well-known titles, a spokesperson for subsidiary TiMi Studios told S&P Global Market Intelligence.

Tencent is hoping this will support a monetization strategy called game-as-service, which encourages in-game purchases and other continuing revenues from titles that are often initially free.

"Tencent has had a game-as-service strategy for a long time," the TiMi Studios spokesperson said, "but the company's next goal is to combine this model with more global game brands and develop mobile versions for them."

The spokesperson said TiMi Studios, which developed Tencent's blockbuster mobile games "Honor of Kings" and "Call of Duty: Mobile," has a pipeline of global releases that will take it to 2022.

TiMi Studios declined to disclose its planned 2020 titles. Tencent and its fully owned U.S. game studio, Riot Games Inc., will release a mobile version of the hugely popular "League of Legends" this year.

The market can also expect an update on a Pokemon game co-produced by Tencent and Pokémon Co. this year.

The Chinese company is investing in an increasing number of global game developers and publishers. It holds stakes in U.S. Epic Games Inc., South Korea-based Bluehole and France-based Ubisoft Entertainment SA and recently invested an undisclosed sum in Japan's PlatinumGames.

"We hope half of our game players can be from the oversea markets in the future," Steven Ma, senior vice president of Tencent, said in an interview with Chinese game media YYS in November 2019. About 10% of Tencent's online game revenues in the third quarter of 2019 came from markets outside China.