Tencent is shutting down its Steam-competitor WeGame on mobile devices
Chinese technology conglomerate Tencent is shutting down its Steam-like mobile application WeGame. The official website of the app said in a blog post that this was being done due to a “change of business development strategy.” WeGame was launched in 2017 for mobiles and PCs as a rebranded version of the Tencent Game Platform.
The Chinese company intended to use WeGame to rival Steam by hosting video games and other content. The ambitious platform, however, failed to get even close to challenging Stream. Now, it’s largely used by players to look up their stats and performance in Tencent’s video game titles.
It’s to be noted that only WeGame’s mobile application is shutting down and it will continue to be available on PC.
Tencent is pulling WeGame from the application stores later this month, services to stop in September
WeGame has already stopped registrations of new users as of July 5, 2022. The reward and recharge features have also been closed. The WeGame app will officially be pulled down from the application stores on July 15. Thus, users won’t be able to download the app after this date. Existing users, however, can continue using it until Tencent officially ceases operations for WeChat on Sept. 8. After this, players will no longer be able to login into WeGame.
WeGame on PC will be unaffected
The mobile application of WeGame may be shutting down, but players on PC won’t be affected. Tencent has confirmed that the PC version will continue to remain operational. Additionally, some features from the mobile application will be transferred to the PC version. WeGame’s mobile shutdown comes amidst tough times for China’s video game industry recently. Regulatory pressure from the country’s government has been weighing down tech companies like Tencent.
China recently imposed a video game approval freeze which lasted eight months. Despite the freeze ending last April, the video game approval process has slowed down.
Last year, China’s antitrust regulators blocked Tencent’s plan to merge streaming platforms Douyu and Huya, pushed since 2020. If this deal would have gone through, the singular platform would have made up 80 percent of the market share. The conglomerate has been trying to cross deals between Tencent platforms regardless, and received hefty fines in the process.
Tencent also saw its slowest annual top-line growth last year since it went public in 2004, according to the South China Morning Post. The company is slashing thousands of jobs in an effort to cut costs. Besides WeChat, the live video-blogging app VueVlog and news aggregator app Kuai Bao – both owned by Tencent – are ceasing operations.
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