Pony Ma says games going overseas is Tencent's biggest hope for internationalisation

Asia Tech Wire (Jan 30) -- Tencent Holdings Ltd.'s (0700.HK) founder and Chief Executive Officer Pony Ma said Monday that games going overseas is Tencent's biggest hope for internationalisation right now.

Speaking at Tencent's 2023 annual staff meeting, Ma reviewed in detail the development of the company's businesses over the past year and laid out plans for the future.

When it comes to the video games business, Ma said it is the company's trump card, and DreamStar, a new party game that Tencent is currently promoting heavily, remains a key investment direction for the future, but still faces challenges in development.

"With the proliferation of new-generation game companies and the shift [in game genres] from play-based to content-based, we were at a loss for a while," Ma told Tencent employees.

He said that while Tencent has also launched new products, "[they're] not as good as we thought."

Tencent officially launched DreamStar on December 25, 2023, to compete with rival NetEase Inc.'s (9999.HK) Eggy Party.

On 25 January, the DreamStar operator announced that the game had more than 80 million registered players in less than a month after its launch.

Ma said at the staff meeting that although the game entered the fray late, "it's not only a game for us, but it also has a social-biased component, which in itself is a position of the home base for us, so we definitely have to go all out."

"Games going overseas is actually our company's biggest hope for internationalisation at the moment," he pointed out.

Over the past few years, Tencent has also laid some foundations in overseas markets. Looking ahead, Ma said, "We hope to be horizontally thorough and solid in software and game development, rather than being an enemy of other game companies or hardware makers in a vertical perspective."

"It's more critical to find our main business and focus on it, which gives us a better chance of winning," he concluded.

According to Tencent's earnings results for the third quarter of 2023, its video game business achieved revenue of 46 billion yuan, growing 5% to 32.7 billion yuan in the Chinese market and 14% to 13.3 billion yuan in international markets.

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