Tencent’s Q1 gaming revenue shows signs of recovery · TechNode

On Tuesday, Chinese tech giant Tencent released its earnings report for the first quarter of 2024, which ended on March 31. Tencent’s revenue from the international gaming market increased by 3% year-on-year to RMB 13.6 billion ($1.88 billion) during the period, while revenue from the domestic gaming market decreased by 2% year-on-year to RMB 34.5 billion ($4.77 billion). Tencent attributed the domestic year-on-year decline to the impact of deferred revenue.

Why it matters: Over reliance on older hits such as Honor of Kings and Peacekeeper Elite may have led Tencent Games to stagnation, reduced player engagement, and increased its vulnerability to competitors launching new, innovative games. The lack of new hit titles from Tencent may risk diminishing the firm’s long-term growth and revenue potential in a rapidly evolving gaming market.

Details: Tencent’s gaming revenue totaled RMB 48.1 billion ($6.66 billion) in the first three months of 2024, marking a 17.6% increase quarter-on-quarter and a 0.41% decrease year-on-year. A yearly revenue drop but a quarterly rise may signal seasonal trends and indicate the company’s recent improvement in performance despite broader market challenges, including intensified industry competition, economic instability, and declining consumer demand.

  • “During the first quarter of 2024, several of our leading games in China and internationally started to benefit from team reorganizations we put in place,” Tencent CEO Ma Huateng said in the financial report, “resulting in an increase in games’ gross receipts and creating a foundation for our games revenue to resume growth in future quarters.”
  • In the first quarter, Honor of Kings and Peacekeeper Elite, two of Tencent’s flagship games, experienced a year-on-year decline in revenue. Tencent blamed this on a high base from the Chinese New Year period last year for the former, and weaker commercial content in the second half of 2023 for the latter. However, both games saw a year-on-year revenue increase in March.
  • During the quarter, several domestic games achieved their highest-ever gross totals, with titles such as Fight of the Golden Spatula, CrossFire Mobile, and Arena Breakout leading the way, according to the company. Recently released overseas games, including VALORANT and Lost Ark, both exhibited robust growth, the firm said.
  • Supercell, a Finnish game development company that Tencent acquired in June 2016, experienced growth in both usage and gross receipts in the overseas gaming market during the reporting period. The multiplayer online battle arena shooter game Brawl Stars’ daily active users more than doubled compared to the previous year, while gross receipts more than quadrupled year-on-year internationally for the title.

Context: In the first quarter, Tencent’s total revenue reached RMB 159.5 billion ($22.08 billion), reflecting a 6% year-on-year increase, while adjusted net profit amounted to RMB 50.27 billion ($6.96 billion), showing a notable 54% year-on-year growth.

  • In the first quarter of 2023, Tencent’s revenue from games reached RMB 48.3 billion ($6.9 billion), up 11% up year-on-year. Tencent’s domestic gaming revenue during the period rose 6% year-on-year to RMB 35.1 billion ($5 billion), while its overseas gaming revenue rose 25% to RMB 13.2 billion ($1.8 billion).

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Jessie Wu is a tech reporter based in Shanghai. She covers consumer electronics, semiconductor, and the gaming industry for TechNode. Connect with her via e-mail: jessie.wu@technode.com.
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