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Call of Duty Mobile Developer Outplays Games Publisher as Timi Studio Earns More Than Activision Blizzard

By Ding Yi / Apr 06, 2021 01:50 PM / Business & Tech

Photo: VCG

Photo: VCG

Timi Studio, a Tencent-owned gaming unit responsible for developing the popular mobile games Honor of Kings and Call of Duty Mobile, raked in $10 billion in revenue in 2020, as the Covid-19 pandemic led to a dramatic surge in demand for digital entertainment, according to Reuters.

The staggering earnings makes Timi the world’s largest game developer, Reuters reported on Friday, citing sources familiar with the matter. In comparison, Activision Blizzard, which publishes the Call of Duty’s franchise, reported revenue of $8.09 billion last year.

The sources said that Timi’s proceeds accounted for nearly 40% of Tencent’s total online game revenue for 2020, which reached $24 billion, with about 29% coming from Tencent’s Lightspeed & Quantum Studio, which develops the popular mobile game PUBG Mobile. According to SensorTower, PUBG Mobile pocketed $2.7 billion in revenue in 2020, bringing the title’s lifetime revenue to $5.1 billion since its release in 2018.

Timi appears to be aiming high as it launches a recruitment drive for a new AAA game that resembles the virtual community in the movie Ready Player One, in a challenge against heavyweights from Japan, South Korea, Europe and the U.S., according to Reuters.

Tencent has been building its overseas studios with the goal of deriving half of its game revenue from overseas, compared with 23% in the fourth quarter of 2019, the most recently available figure.

In recent years, Tencent has beefed up its investment in the global gaming industry by buying stakes in world-famous video game developers such as U.S.-based Epic Games and Japan’s Marvelous. Last month, the Shenzhen-based gaming giant joined a new funding round of Tokyo-based cloud gaming technology and services provider Ubitus in a demonstration of its growing bet on cloud gaming that enables people to play games anywhere there is an internet connection.

Contact reporter Ding Yi (yiding@caixin.com)

Related: Tencent Eyes Cloud Gaming with Ubitus Investment


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