Chinese corporation Tencent is rebranding the Tencent Gaming Platform (TGP) to “WeGame”. WeGame will support international users and could be the first major competitor to Steam.
According to Niko Partners analyst, Daniel Ahmad, WeGame will support “both Chinese and global users”. As TGP already has around 200 million more users than Steam this could cause significant headaches for Steam owner, Valve.
Market research firm newzoo estimates that Tencent accounted for 12% of global game revenue in 2015 (over $11.1bn). The company owns League of Legends’ developer, Riot Games, Clash of Clans’ developer, Supercell and has a minority stake in both Activision Blizzard and Epic Games.
A strategic decision by Tencent to target a Western audience could increase the market share of the already huge company considerably. This, in addition to its already strong user base in Asia will make sure Steam has to work hard to keep pole position in an increasingly crowded industry.
The move is already fuelling speculation that Chinese authorities could ban Steam in the country in order to give protectionist preference to WeGame.