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Chinese investment firm Tencent may build esports-themed amusement park

eSports arena
Jakob Wells/Flickr
Not content with owning some of the world’s highest-earning video game franchises in the world, Chinese investment company Tencent Holdings announced its intention to build an esports-themed business village. There is talk of populating it with an animation studio, as well as an esports theme park.

Tencent is the parent company of Riot Games, the developer of League of Legends. It also owns Chinese-focused multiplayer titles like Call of Duty Online, Crossfire, and Three Kingdoms. With a vast portfolio of interests and investments, Tencent is now looking to build something more in the real world, though what it actually is, is the subject of some speculation.

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The issue at hand is a difficult translation from the Chinese release. According to TechNode, it suggests Tencent is looking to build some sort of “esports town” which encompasses a theme park, an animation studio, “creative block,” an entrepreneurial sector, and a cloud data center.

How some of that relates to esports is a little difficult to fathom but a theme park centered around some of pro-gamings top names and characters certainly has legs as an idea. Games like League of Legends have tens of millions of players around the world and many of them would likely be interested in going on rides themed around their favorite game.

Whatever guise the new esports town or business park takes, Tencent’s deal will see it built in east China’s Wuhu City, presumably over the next few years. Once constructed, it will also be used to host tournaments for some of the company’s most prominent games.

Tencent already laid out plans for the creation of a theme park based on Honor of Kings, its mobile take on the League of Legends MOBA formula. That game has also amassed more than 50 million active players, so it is clear that Tencent is looking to leverage its massive gaming audiences to increase its earnings in the real world.

As it stands, its gaming revenue is upward of $10 billion a year, which makes it the largest and most profitable game publisher in China by quite a stretch.

That said, it seems clear from this initiative that Tencent is focusing its efforts on its domestic market for now. As PC Gamer points out, there was some suggestion earlier this year with Tencent’s rebranding of its core services to WeGame that it could be looking to take on more international gaming platforms like Steam. While that may still be the case, it doesn’t appear to be at the forefront of the gaming giant’s mind for now.

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