Tag Archives: Tencent

Tencent Scraps Plans For VR Hardware As Metaverse Bet Falters

Reuters reported that Tencent Holdings is  abandoning plans to venture into virtual reality hardware, as a sobering economic outlook prompts the Chinese tech giant to cut cost and headcount at its metaverse unit, three sources familiar with the matter said.

According to Reuters, the world’s largest video game publisher had ambitions plans to build both virtual reality software and hardware at an “extended reality” XR unit it launched in June last year, for which it hired nearly 300 people. It had come up with a concept for a ring-like hand-held game controller, but difficulties in achieving quick profitability and the large investment needed to produce a competitive product were among factors that prompted a shift away from that strategy, two of the sources said.

One of the sources said the XR project was not expected to become profitable until 2027, according to an internal forecast. The second source said the unit also had a lack of promising games and non-gaming applications.

This news comes after Reuters reported that Tencent Holdings said on Thursday it was making some personnel adjustments after a media report said that the Chinese tech company was laying off staff in its recently formed “extended reality” (XR) business.

According to Reuters, Chinese tech outlet 36Kr reported on Thursday, citing unnamed sources, that Tencent had notified the unit’s more than 300 staff that they would be given two months to find new internal or external opportunities and that the unit would be disbanded.

Tencent, Asia’s biggest internet company, told Reuters that it was untrue that it planned to disband the business. It said it was making adjustments to some business teams as its development plans for hardware had changed.

Technode reported that Tencent is the latest tech company overhaul its metaverse-related activity, a move that comes less than a year the company established its XR unit and follows its failed attempts to acquire AR hardware maker PICO and gaming phone maker Black Shark.

According to Technode, HR hardware usually requires large amounts of capital over a long period of time, but as Tencent continues to cut costs and focus mainly on software, the company has been more cautious with its investments.

It is unclear to me exactly why Tencent decided to drop its virtual reality software. Reuters mentioned a some reasons that could, potentially, be part of the reason. Another possibility is that Tencent didn’t have the money to put into their XR project, or to compete with Meta’s Metaverse.

China Sues Tencent Over WeChat’s Youth Mode

Beijing prosecutors initiated a civil public-interest lawsuit against a Tencent subsidiary on Friday, saying the “youth mode” on the company’s popular social messaging app WeChat does not comply with laws protecting minors, Reuters reported.

The Verge explained that the lawsuit is against Tencent, a Chinese tech giant. The Verge also explained that when WeChat is used in youth mode, it restricts younger users’ access to functions like mobile payments, as well as certain games.

According to South China Morning Post Tencent has significantly cut down playing time for minors under 18 on its flagship game Honour of Kings in a bid to appease Beijing’s concerns about gaming addiction among young people in China.

More specifically, gamers under the age of 18 will have their playing time limited to one hour on regular days and two hours on public holidays. These minors were previously allowed to play Honour of Kings up to 1.5 hours on a regular day and three hours on holidays. Teenagers will also be prohibited from playing the game between 10pm and 8am, a move that goes beyond the central government’s mandatory limits for minors to engage in gaming.

In addition, minors under the age of 12 are banned from spending money to top up in the game. Gamers between 12 and 16 are only allowed to spend up to 200 yuan (US $31) per month, with a single charge capped at 50 yuan. Those between 16 and 18 are limited to 400 yuan per month, with a single charge capped at 100 yuan.

In my opinion, it sounds like the Beijing prosecutors may have intended these rules to place limitations on players who are under the age of 18 as a means of preventing harm to them. However, the limitations of play time and the amount of money those players can spend could significantly harm the revenue that Tencent previously made on this game.

Tencent has Invested in Grinding Gear Games

Grinding Gear Games, creator of Path of Exile, announced in a forum post that Tencent has acquired a majority stake in Grinding Gear Games. The forum post was written by Grinding Gear Games Chief Chris Wilson.

Our Chinese publisher, Tencent, has acquired a majority stake in Grinding Gear Games. We will remain an independent company and there won’t be any big changes to how we operate. We want to reassure the community that this will not affect the development and operations of Path of Exile, so we have prepared some answers to some questions you may have about this investment.

Tencent is a Chinese company that describes itself as “a leading provider of Internet value added services in China.” Tencent Games is the largest online games community in China, and a leading world-class online game developer and operator. Tencent owns Riot Games, the creator of League of Legends.

In the forum post, Grinding Gear Games states that they will not make any changes to the monetization of Path of Exile on their international servers. In other words, they are not planning on making the game “pay to win”.

Grinding Gear Games is still an independently-run company. “All of its developers still work for Grinding Gear Games and have not become Tencent employees.” The forum post says the founders (Chris Wilson, Jonathan Rogers, and Erik Oloffson) are still running the company.

Current players will not need to have a Tencent account in order to log in to Path of Exile. Grinding Gear Games says nothing is changing with the way players access Path of Exile on international servers.