- Chinese company Tencent Games has a stake in many popular mobile, PC, and console games
- So the question arises, can you really boycott Chinese games?
For the past couple of weeks, due to the heightened tensions between India and China, the general sentiment of the Indian public has become hostile towards China and people are trying to boycott China completely. Certain apps like 'Remove China apps' have become hugely popular as Indians do not want to support Chinese companies by using their apps.
Since the ban of 59 Chinese apps (including popular apps like TikTok and Shareit) Indian gamers have been expecting a ban on more popular games developed by Chinese companies including PUBG Mobile and COD Mobile. Certain streamers have also stopped playing these games to support the Indian cause, and have shifted to games developed by developers from other countries. But no matter what Indian gamers do, they will always be supporting Chinese companies in one way or the other. Here’s how.
Tencent Holdings Ltd. is a Chinese conglomerate that was founded in 1998 and since then they have been spreading their roots in all kinds of internet-based services, be it cloud computing, entertainment, AI, gaming. Tencent has been funding popular and high potential startups for a long time now which has led to them acquiring a stake in a lot of popular companies. Tencent is now the world’s largest video game company, one of the most valuable companies in the world and has ventured in almost all electronic fields like social networks, music, web portals, e-commerce, mobile games, internet services, payment systems, smartphones, and multiplayer online games.
One of Tencent’s subsidiaries is Tencent Games which was founded in 2003 to focus on the gaming industry. Tencent Games may sound familiar because this is the developer responsible for creating popular mobile games like PUBG Mobile, COD Mobile, and Arena of Valor. Since its foundation, Tencent Games has been acquiring stakes in almost all of the major game developers and is now so deeply rooted that no matter what game you play, a part of the money you spend on it will definitely go to China. Let me explain this in a more detailed manner.
Tencent owns full ownership of the American Developers ‘Riot Games’. Riot Games is the developer behind many popular games like League of Legends and a more recent hit, Valorant.
Tencent also has a 40% stake in ‘Epic Games’ which is the developer behind one of the most popular games, Fortnite. Epic Games is also the sole proprietor and distributor of the ‘Unreal Engine’ which is the most popular engine used by game developers. All titles on PS and Xbox are made using the unreal engine and most AAA titles on PC also use the same. Thus no matter what game you are playing, Tencent is earning a hefty royalty.
Tencent also owns a whopping 84% stake in the Finnish mobile developer ‘Supercell’ which has created wildly popular games like Clash of Clans, Clash Royale and Brawl Stars.
Other companies that Tencent Games has stakes in include:
- Full ownership of Norwegian publisher Funcom
- Full ownership of Swedish developer Sharkmob, founded in 2017 by ex-Ubisoft developers and fully acquired by Tencent in 2019.
- 80% ownership in the New Zealand company Grinding Game Company, the developers of the game Path of Exile.
- 20% ownership of Japanese publisher and developer Marvelous.
- 18.6% ownership of Chinese company iDreamSky, which mainly develops and publishes mobile games for the Chinese market.
- 17.66% ownership of South Korean mobile developer Netmarble.
- Approximately 15% ownership of American mobile game developer Glu Mobile.
- 13.54% ownership of South Korean company Kakao, the parent company of South Korean publisher Kakao Games.
- 9% ownership in UK developer Frontier Developments.
- 5% ownership of American holding company Activision Blizzard, the parent company of Activision
- 5% ownership of Swedish publisher Paradox Interactive.
- 5% ownership in France's Ubisoft.
- 1.5% ownership of South Korean company Bluehole, the publisher of PUBG.
- Majority ownership in Switzerland-based mobile game developer Miniclip.
- Capital Investment in Japanese developer Platinum Games
- Minority share in German developer Yager Development.
Conclusion: Boycott Chinese Games? But How?
So what does this all this mean to the gamers? Do we support the Indian cause and stop playing games or should we keep playing games but get called out for being anti-nationalist. There is a simple 1 step solution for this. Most mainstream games do not resort to showing ads and the major source of income for most games is in-app purchases. Seeing that India is one of the largest markets for gaming companies if all Indian Gamers reduced the frequency of making in-app purchases, the companies will face a huge blow in their income leading to the fulfillment of the Indian cause without actually boycotting these games completely.
What do you think, can we boycott Chinese games, or games with Chinese stake, even if we want to? Do let us know about your views in the comments below.