Tencent’s TiMi Studios reportedly made $10 billion USD in 2020, which would make them the world’s largest developer.
Reuters reports that according to “two people with direct knowledge of the matter,” the Chinese tech-giant subsidiary had made $10 billion USD in revenue in 2020. If true, Reuters notes this would make them the “world’s largest developer,” as other analysts have reportedly suspected.
The developer is best known for mobile games; especially Honor of Kings and Arena of Valor. The former was criticized by Chinese media as being addictive and “poison” to children. This alone caused Tencent to lose $14 Billion USD on the Hong Kong stock exchange.
Reuters also report TiMi are seeking to expand beyond mobile games, wanting to develop AAA titles for PC, Nintendo Switch, and PlayStation 4 and Xbox consoles.
While TiMi are aiming to develop games outside of mobile, Tencent’s efforts in AAA may come from another studio. Tencent reportedly hired several industry veterans who had worked on “blockbuster” titles. Alleged hires included former Konami developer Kenichiro Imaizumi (Death Stranding), and Scott Warner (Planescape: Torment, Mercenaries 2: World in Flames, and Halo 4).
This studio was later revealed as LightSpeed LA (a subsidiary of Lightspeed & Quantum, itself a subsidiary of Tencent). While LightSpeed LA itself had previously announced “globally marketed” open-world cyberpunk FPS Syn at Tencent’s annual conference, LightSpeed LA working on an open-world AAA PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X game.
Tencent’s portfolio also includes becoming the major shareholder for Marvelous in January 2020, 100% ownership of Riot Games, 80% of Grinding Gear Games, 40% in Epic Games, 29% in Funcom, 5% in Activision Blizzard, 5% in Ubisoft, 5% in Paradox Interactive, a “major investment” in PlatinumGames, a majority stake in Klei Entertainment, a minority stake in Dontnod Entertainment, and others.
At least one of TiMi’s major upcoming games may face some difficulties as well. The news that Tencent were developing a Pokemon game was met with concern and skepticism due to Tencent’s reputation as a Chinese company, and as such having to comply with laws regarding personal data being available to the Chinese government.
When it was announced it was a free-to-start MOBA Pokemon Unite by TiMi, the reaction was poor. Whether it be because of the genre, the company being based in China, or fans expecting announcements of new mainline games, the trailer received many dislikes (even after being made private and re-uploaded). The game’s regional beta tests are ongoing.