The Chinese corporation Tencent, the owners of Riot Studios, will be re-branding their Tencent gaming platform from the Tencent Games Platform to WeGame.
While the original gaming platform only served the company’s native country, China, WeGame is going to be a Steam competitor that will allow worldwide access to it.
Niko Partners analyst Daniel Ahmad made the announcement on his official Twitter account, and has outright called it Tencent’s own version of Steam.
Tencent is one of the largest gaming companies in the world, owning not only the world’s most successful MOBA developer but also with stakes in Blizzard, Supercell, and Epic Games.
China itself also loves PC gaming (mainly because consoles appear to be banned in the country, or at least are nowhere near as prevalent as they are in other areas of the world). Its PC gaming market was expected to be worth around 13.8 billion dollars.
Originally, the Tencent gaming platform was designed to allow its customers easy access to League of Legends and other free-to-play games, but now they’ll be going in for a pay-to-play model with WeGame to bring Western PC games over.
However, they’ll most likely have their work cut out for them.
Steam is the most prolific PC gaming service in the world right now, and has remained in that position even after other major publishers like EA, Blizzard, and Ubisoft have made their own platforms. Steam boasts over 125 million registered user accounts.
While the Tencent gaming platform has over 200 million subscribers, that’s just in China, one of the most heavily and densely populated countries in the world.
Tencent opening it up into a worldwide service may help to make the service grow, but whether it can actually upset Steam as a service or not remains to be seen.
There’s no official date for the launch of WeGame, but it’ll likely be sometime this year.