Tencent’s Timi studio generated $10bn in 2020, sources say

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Timi Studios, makers of popular video games Honor of Kings and Call of Duty Mobile owned by Chinese tech giant Tencent (HK: 0700 ), generated revenue of $10 billion last year, they told Reuters. two people with direct knowledge of the matter.

The $10 billion would make Timi the world’s biggest video game developer, according to sources, something many industry observers already suspected.

It also provides considerable foundation for its ambitions to go beyond mobile gaming and compete directly with global heavyweights developing expensive “AAA” titles on platforms such as Sony’s PlayStation (T: 6758 ), Nintendo’s Switch ( T: 7974 ) and the Xbox from Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT ).

In a hiring announcement last month, a Timi engineer wrote that the company intends to create a new AAA game that resembles the virtual community from the movie Ready Player One, and that it will “go head-to-head with the great powers of Japan, South Korea, Europe and the United States.”

Tencent is building studios abroad, including one for Timi and another for Lightspeed and Quantum, both in the US city of Los Angeles, with the aim of creating original intellectual property content that has global appeal.

Tencent aims to eventually earn half of its gaming revenue from abroad, compared with 23 percent in the fourth quarter of 2019, the most recent figure available.

Many major studios are turning to Tencent for support in converting their “hardcore” PC or game console games into mobile phone versions. These types of games are characterized by their long sessions and the depth of their stories or battles, and some include multiplayer online role-playing games or online battle arenas.

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Last week, Tencent reported 156.1 billion yuan ($23.79 billion) in global revenue from online games in 2020, but did not break out revenue from individual studios, which are run independently and compete with each other.

Timi’s revenue accounted for 40% of the group’s gaming revenue, the two people said.

Of the rest of Tencent’s gaming revenue last year, its Lightspeed studio and Quantum, the developer of PUBG Mobile, another top-grossing game, contributed 29%, the sources said, while 26% was gaming revenue. the publication for other developers. Aurora Studios Group, powered by its Moonlight Blade Mobile title, contributed 3%, the two sources said.

Both sources declined to be identified because the information is not public.

Tencent did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.

Tencent, which has benefited from a rise in paying gamers, said last week that its online gaming revenue jumped 29% to 39.1 billion yuan in the fourth quarter.

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