(Reuters) – Chinese technology giant Tencent’s Timi Studios, maker of popular video games Honor of Kings and Call of Duty Mobile, generated $ 10 billion in revenue last year, two people with direct knowledge of the case told Reuters.
The $ 10 billion would make Timi the world̵
It also provides a solid foundation for its ambitions to go beyond mobile gaming and compete directly with global heavyweights who develop expensive “AAA” titles on platforms such as desktops, Sony’s PlayStation, Nintendo Switch and Microsoft’s Xbox.
In a recruitment report last month, a Timi engineer wrote that the company aims to create a new AAA game similar to the virtual community from the movie Ready Player One, and will “compete head-to-head against major powers from Japan, Korea, Europe and the United States ”
Tencent is building studios overseas, including one for Timi and one for Lightspeed and Quantum, both in Los Angeles, with the goal of creating content with original intellectual property that has global appeal.
Tencent finally aims to get half of its gaming revenues from abroad, from 23 percent in the fourth quarter of 2019, the latest available figure.
Many large studios turn to Tencent for support to convert their “hardcore” desktop or console games to mobile. Such games have long sessions and thorough storytelling or matches, some of which include role-playing games online for multiplayer or online battle arenas.
Last week, Tencent reported 156.1 billion yuan ($ 23.79 billion) in total online gaming revenue for 2020, but did not share the revenue of individual studios, which operate independently and compete with each other.
Timi’s income accounted for 40% of gaming revenue, the two people said.
Of Tencent’s remaining gaming revenue last year, Lightspeed and Quantum studio, the developer of PUBG Mobile, contributed another top revenue game, 29%, people said, while 26% was revenue from publishing for other developers. Aurora Studios Group, reinforced by the Moonlight Blade Mobile title, contributed 3%, people said.
The sources refused 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 an increase in paying players, said last week that online revenue rose 29% to 39.1 billion yuan in the fourth quarter.
($ 1 = 6.5619 Chinese Yuan Renminbi)
Reporting by Pei Li and Tony Munroe. Cut by Gerry Doyle