Tencent’s Timi Studios ‘Made $10bn’ In 2020

Timi Studios, a gaming division of Chinese tech giant Tencent, reportedly generated $10 billion (£7bn) in revenues last year, which would make it the world’s single biggest studio.

The figure reported by the Reuters news agency, citing two unnamed sources familiar with the matter, makes Timi the latest company to see a huge spike in demand driven by the coronavirus pandemic, along with video-streaming platforms and teleconferencing services.

The figure would make Timi the world’s biggest videogame developer by revenue, Reuters estimated.

Timi has made its name by developing mobile games based on other companies’ properties, including popular titles Call of Duty Mobile and Honour of Kings, as well as Arena of Valour, Pokemon Unite, Speed Drifters and others.

Surge in demand

For comparison, Activision Blizzard, the company that develops the Call of Duty game series, in February reported $8.1bn in revenue for 2020, up 25 percent year-on-year.

Tencent last month reported a total of 156.1bn yuan (£17.2bn) in online gaming revenues for 2020, but did not break down the figures for the individual studios it owns, which are run independently and compete with one another.

Reuters said Timi accounted for 40 percent of Tencent’s gaming revenues, followed by the Lightspeed and Quantum studio, developer of the popular game PUBG Mobile, at 29 percent.

Another subsidiary, Aurora Studios Group, which develops Moonlight Blade Mobile, accounted for 3 percent, while another 26 percent reportedly derived from publishing games for other developers.

Timi Studios’ Honour of Kings

International expansion

Tencent said its online games revenue rose 29 percent quarter-on-quarter to 39.1bn yuan for the fourth quarter, amidst a surge in paying gamers.

Tencent is building studios overseas, including Los Angeles bases for Timi and Lightspeed and Quantum, as it looks to shift to developing original intellectual property.

The company aims to eventually derive half its gaming revenue from outside China, up from 23 percent in the fourth quarter of 2019.

Timi, meanwhile, is looking to shift away from its focus on mobile games to develop for other platforms, including desktop computers, Sony’s PlayStation, Nintendo’s Switch and Microsoft’s Xbox.

Matthew Broersma

Matt Broersma is a long standing tech freelance, who has worked for Ziff-Davis, ZDnet and other leading publications

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