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Tencent game revenues hit $3.9 billion in Q1

Chinese publisher's PC and smartphone game revenue more than doubled Activision Blizzard's record quarter

Tencent's PC and mobile games revenue rose to $3.9 billion in Q1, more than double the amount earned by any other games publisher.

With more than 30% year-on-year growth, the quarter ended March 31 2017 is further proof of Tencent's dominant position in games publishing. The 27 billion ($3.9 billion) it earned from online games in the quarter is far beyond other major publishers like Activision Blizzard ($1.73 billion) and even fellow Chinese publisher NetEase ($1.6 billion).

It also means that it's on course to eclipse the $10 billion it earned in calendar 2016, far more than any other publisher in a 12-month period.

PC client games contributed a slim majority of that revenue, growing 24% year-on-year to 14.1 billion ($2 billion) on the strength of titles like League of Legends and FIFA Online 3. Tencent noted an increase in the ratio of paying users - possibly due to expansion content for FIFA and Chinese New Year promotions in LoL - though active user accounts declined year-on-year. This trajectory, the company said, is down to the migration of players from PC to mobile.

And Tencent is no slouch when it comes to mobile either. Smartphone game revenue climbed 57% to 12.9 billion ($1.9 billion), thanks in no small part to the success of CrossFire Mobile and, particularly, Honour of Kings. Tencent stated its belief that Honor of Kings is among the most popular games in the world in terms of DAUs.

In January this year, at the very start of Q1, the Financial Times reported that Honor of Kings had 50 million DAUs - more than Pokemon Go at its peak. Virtually all of that success has been found in China, though Tencent is planning a Korean launch of the game.

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