Tencent, the Chinese internet giant worth $309 billion, boasts a broad investment portfolio. It recently bought 5 percent of Tesla for $1.8 billion, and owns, among others, Clash of Clans publisher Supercell and League of Legends creator Riot Games. Now, Tencent is strengthening its connection with gamers by building an eSports-themed industrial park in the city of Wuhu.
Technode reports that the “eSports town” will encompass a theme park based on competitive online gaming, an eSports University, a cultural and creative park, animation industrial park, creative block, tech entrepreneurial community, and a Tencent data center. There are also plans for holding “e-sports tournaments with national influence in the town.”
Such a commitment to its gaming business isn’t that surprising, especially when you consider that Tencent’s online gaming revenue was up 25 percent in 2016 to around $10.28 billion, which represented almost half of its revenue for that year.
117 million people consider themselves eSports users in China, where the market segment is worth $5.8 billion. Wuhu isn’t the only place to get an eSports town; a similar industrial park in the Southwest of the country is getting a $580 million investment over the next three years.
As noted by PCGamer, Tencent recently rebranded its digital store to “WeGame,” which some thought was a sign of the platform gearing up for a global expansion to take on Steam. But with the domestic market continuing to prove so lucrative, it seems the company is happy to focus on China for the time being.