TRIPLEPOINTS OF INTEREST: APR. 8

This week, Tencent announced the international launch of their new gaming platform WeGame X, Pearl Abyss’ Black Desert franchise exceeded $1 billion dollars in revenue, and Steam faced backlash after region-locking games.

Tencent launches WeGame X for international audiences

Tencent has released a new version of its WeGame storefront, called WeGame X, for international audiences. Players around the world can now play 17 Chinese titles from studios such as Deep Silver, Hello Games, and Larian Studio. The platform offers user reviews, genre tags, an offline game mode, and cloud saving. Engadget was optimistic about the platform, stating, “It might not tread on Epic’s toes, but it could be a viable alternative for some players.” However, PCGamesN was not convinced, explaining, “It remains to be seen how well WeGame X does with international players. Tencent is viewed with some suspicion by gamers outside of China, and the notion that the company shares user data with the Chinese government has animated a lot of the ire directed toward Epic Games Store exclusivity deals.” PC Gamer, GamesIndustry.biz, Game Debate, and more reported the news.

Pearl Abyss’ Black Desert franchise reaches $1 billion in revenue

Pearly Abyss announced their popular franchise, Black Desert, topped $1 billion in revenue since its launch in December of 2014. The company attributes its success to the ‘Black Desert’ game engine specifically created to run the game. Pearl Abyss also announced plans to expand Black Desert’s reach by releasing it globally on mobile by the end of this year. TweakTown praised the game, saying it “…combines skill-based combat with in-depth character customization and smooth controls.” The news was also covered by VentureBeat, Variety, GameDaily.biz, and more.

Steam faces backlash after region-locking games

The European Commission (EC) has accused Steam of breaching EU competition rules this week by intentionally region-locking activation keys for users in specific regions. According to an investigation conducted by the EC, Steam, along with Bandai Namco, Capcom, Zenimax, Focus Home, and Koch Media have restricted players in Eastern Europe from acquiring and playing games outside of their region. PC Gamer came to Steam’s defense, claiming, “Games in some countries cost less than they would in others, ostensibly reflecting the different economies of the countries they’re sold in. Without geo-blocking, people from wealthier countries could net themselves some bargains by shopping elsewhere.” No legal penalties have been levied yet, but a fine equalling 10% of the company’s global annual income is possible. Outlets such as The Verge, Rock Paper Shotgun, Motherboard, and more reported on the news.

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