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Tencent wants to build an esports-themed park in China

Chinese conglomerate Tencent has been getting a lot of attention lately for what appears to be aggressive moves to boost its profile among gamers in, and outside of, its home country. But even by those standards, this new venture sounds big: As reported by Tuwan Esports, the company has announced plans to build an "esports themed industrial park" in the city of Wuhu.

The Google translation of the original announcement is predictably rough, but it jibes with TechNode's report that the "esports town" will include an "esports theme park, esports university, cultural and creative park, animation industrial park, creative block, tech entrepreneurial community, and Tencent cloud data center." It doesn't look like a start date for construction has been set, but the agreement said the project will rely on Wuhu's "cultural entertainment industry development base, and Tencent's powerful game industry" resources.   

An early thought when it came to light in April that Tencent was rebranding its digital gaming platform to "WeGame" was that the company was gearing up for an international showdown with Steam. But this report, if accurate, pretty clearly suggests a domestic focus, which would not be an unreasonable approach: Tencent's "online game segment revenue" was up 25 percent in 2016 to ¥70.84 billion ($10.28 billion), a figure that represents nearly half of its total 2016 revenue. In light of numbers like that, a focus on the home market—where there's obviously still a lot of room left for growth—seems like a smart idea. 

Andy Chalk
Andy covers the day-to-day happenings in the big, wide world of PC gaming—the stuff we call "news." In his off hours, he wishes he had time to play the 80-hour RPGs and immersive sims he used to love so much.