WeGame, Tencent's PC game storefront is being prepped for an international release. According to representatives of the company speaking to South China Morning Post (via PCGamesInsider.biz), this is being done to bring Chinese games to an international audience. This also puts WeGame in competition with the likes of Steam, GOG, and other digital distribution platforms run by publishers such as Origin from EA and Uplay from Ubisoft.
"The Hong Kong version of WeGame is now under development," said a spokesman for Shenzhen-based Tencent in a statement. "This version will be available for overseas users, and we will use this platform to bring more Chinese games to the global market."
WeGame is China's biggest PC game distribution. It has over 220 games available for purchase including those made by independent studios such as Klei with its multiplayer survival game, Don't Starve Together and even big budget titles such as Monster Hunter World from Japanese publisher Capcom.
The move to make WeGame ready for international audiences comes at an interesting time. Of late, we've seen a string of high-profile publishers planning to release their games outside of the current de facto choice, Steam. These include Activision, preferring to launch Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 on its own Battle.net platform and Fortnite side-stepping Steam altogether to use Epic Game's own launcher. Incidentally, Tencent has a stake in both companies.
Furthermore, pushing for an international expansion is prudent considering that publishers in China have to submit their games for review to be sold in the country. The process takes a few months. Tencent, for example, has yet to release PUBG's PC version in China, almost a year after winning the hit survival shooter game’s local distribution rights.
If you're a fan of video games, check out Transition, Gadgets 360's gaming podcast. You can listen to it via Apple Podcasts or RSS, or just listen to this week's episode by hitting the play button below.