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Tencent testing out games on WeChat

WeChat social media

With 400-million users, 70-million of whom come from outside China, and ambassadors like global football icon Lionel Messi, there’s no doubting that WeChat is a social media force to be reckoned with. And Tencent’s decision to test out games on the platform could help push it to the next level.

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The Chinese internet giant is apparently beta testing a version of a game called LinkLink for WeChat as well as its mobile QQ platform. The game, which reportedly originates from Tencent’s mobile gaming platform, marks the first time that a game has simultaneously been launched for both mobile QQ and Weixin.

While the move may seem a little bit surprising to those who only know about Tencent’s social efforts, the company does have a multiplayer gaming web portal in the shape of QQ Games in addition to its mobile gaming platform, which has over 200-million users.

According to Tencent Tech (Translated), another 10 games will eventually be launched on WeChat, bringing the total to 11.

While some Western social gaming companies, such as Zynga, have battled in recent times, most of WeChat’s Asian competitors have games and other monetization strategies built into their products, meaning that Tencent’s move to include games on WeChat is far from unexpected.

One of those competitors — Korean messaging app Kokao Talk (which Tencent is an investor in) — launched its social gaming service last year and is now seeing revenues of US$30-million per month. Japanese competitor Line meanwhile said it was seeing 150 cumulative downloads of games on its social gaming platform. That suggests that space is ripe with opportunities, especially in emerging markets where many people’s first gaming experiences are on mobile.

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