Tencent, which recently took over Supercell is increasing its clout in the South Korean online and mobile game industries. The Chinese portal services firm has invested in more than 10 game companies in the Korean market. Among the most noticeable ones are Netmarble Games, 4:33 and Party Games. The Chinese firm is also the third-largest shareholder of Kakao, the mobile messenger firm which operates a mobile game platform.
The amount of investment made by the Chinese firm in the above four Korean companies stands at 755 billion won (USD 638.7 million) — 533 billion won in Netmarble Games, 130 billion won (jointly with mobile messenger firm LINE Corp.) in 4:33, 72 billion won in Kakao, and 20 billion won in Party Games.
With its increased shares in Korean game companies, the Chinese firm is trying to interfere in the development of games to make things fit their taste, some officials from Korean game companies said. “Tencent is demanding too much and wants developers to make changes in a very short time,” said an employee from a mobile game company.
Many others say, however, collaboration with the Chinese firm is inevitable as there are not many companies with deep pockets as well as wide distribution channels for games in China.
Tecent operates PC messenger QQ, Messenger, mobile messenger WeChat, and social networking service Weibo while launched game hits “Dungeon Fighter” and “CrossFire” developed by Neople and SmileGate, respectively, in the Chinese market.
Warning of the domestic game developers’ high level of dependency on the Chinese portal firm, an official from a Korean game company said, “Korean game makers need to seek collaboration with more diverse companies around the world.”
Source: Korean Hearald