One of the things you notice when you travel and work overseas is just how absent some corporate entities we take for granted in the West are elsewhere. I was forever shocked by the size and influence of Rakuten in Japan, with Amazon and Google barely getting a look-in. It was the same in China. Facebook, Instagram and the others we see as part of daily life were nowhere. WeChat was everywhere, and wider than that, Tencent seemed dominate everything. China is now coming for gaming.
It seems that even China has growth limits. Tencent may already be the world’s biggest video games company by revenue, but growth is stalling at home. Tencent already owns a stake in more than 800 companies, including Epic Games, Activision Blizzard and Ubisoft.
According to Reuters, Tencent is back in the overseas acquisition market and is “aggressively seeking” to up the stakes it already has in these firms in order to take a controlling majority share. No more passive financial investments, all glory to the rising Red Dragon and the people’s gaming revolution having a long march through the markets!
Microsoft’s $68.7 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard is attracting the attention of regulators in the UK and the EU with support from Google and Sony who fear the link up. Careful what you wish for as this may leave Tencent able to exploit the gap and swoop in.
I, for one, welcome our new Chinese gaming overlords.