In brief: Which company do you think is the world’s “largest” developer? Rockstar North? Electronic Arts? According to a new report, it’s Tencent’s TiMi Studios, the firm behind Call of Duty: Mobile and Honor of Kings. It earned an incredible $10 billion in revenue last year.
Chinese giant Tencent recently reported 156.1 billion yuan ($23.79 billion) in overall online game revenue for 2020, but it didn’t break down the figure for its individual studios, which run independently from each other. According to Reuters, citing two sources “with direct knowledge of the matter,” TiMi was responsible for 40% of that money.
TiMi might be an unfamiliar name to many people, but its games include the massive Call of Duty: Mobile, which managed 100 million downloads in its first week alone, and Honor of Kings. Only available in China, Honor of Kings boasted 100 million daily users in November 2020.
TiMi is using the vast revenue to expand beyond mobile games and into the console/PC market. Last week, a recruitment notice revealed that the company is creating a new AAA game resembling the virtual community from the movie Ready Player One. It is also building a studio in Los Angeles with “the goal of creating content with original intellectual property that has global appeal,” writes the South China Morning Post.
Tencent also owns all or part of Riot (League of Legends), Lightspeed & Quantum (PUBG: Mobile), Epic Games (Fortnite), Supercell (Clash of Clans), and Activision Blizzard (Call of Duty), among several others. The company has seen its income boosted by the pandemic-induced surge in gaming, with its online games revenue rising 29% to 39.1 billion yuan ($5.95 billion) in the fourth quarter.