Alibaba Rolls Out Mobile Game Platform To Take On Tencent

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Alibaba Group launched a mobile game platform today to compete head-on with its major rival Tencent in mobile gaming sector. The first game on Alibaba’s gaming platform is expected to be released on Taobao Mobile very soon.

The platform won’t charge standalone mobile games or take revenue shares from them for the first year. As for jointly operated mobile games, Alibaba will pocket 20% of the revenue, while 70% of the revenue will be distributed to developers and the rest 10% will be donated to charity funds, according to Liu Chunning, vice president of Alibaba Digital & Entertainment Unit who was also former exec of Tencent.

Alibaba claims that this scheme is far more generous than Tencent’s revenue-sharing ratio of 90% for operation platform and 10% for game developers.

Alibaba added that the mobile game platform will offer users and developers all-around services and technical resources, like cloud storage service AliCloud, AliPay, virtual currency, big data management, as well as to capitalize on existing ecommerce and social products in a bid to construct a “healthy, convenient and secure ecosystem”.

With the release of this platform, Alibaba claimed it aims to break the monopoly of Tencent and inspire innovations in mobile gaming sector.

Tencent’s casual games like WeRunner and Rhythm Master became instant success after their release in the second half of 2013, heating up the competition in domestic mobile gaming arena. Wu Gang, CEO of Wistone, noted that more than 80% of market growth in Q3 2013 was nabbed by Tencent.

Chinese mobile game players topped 300 million with market value surging from more than 5 billion yuan in 2012 to 11.2 billion yuan in 2013, according to data released by GPC under Publishers Association of China.

Tencent reportedly will partner up with Baidu’s 91 and Duoku to jointly distribute licensed mobile games from April this year (source in Chinese).