The games service which sits alongside mobile messaging app WeChat has been launched on an international basis, as owner Tencent looks to evolve the service into a social platform.
If Tencent can engage the 272 million active users of WeChat with its game service, it could present a significant opportunity to generate revenue through in-app purchases.
Japanese messaging app LINE has already shown the potential of games as a companion to messaging apps. It offers more than 30 games to its 300 million registered users and passed 200 million game downloads in September.
Users can locate the Game Center under the Discover tab in WeChat. There are currently three titles available: Craz3 Match, Gunz Dash and 2Day’s Match. Selecting the download option takes users to the appropriate app store.
Games can be played solo or with WeChat friends, with the ability to compare scores. Players can also find nearby opponents using location-based technology.
Tencent launched the Game Center in Weixin, the Chinese-only version of the messaging app, in August. The service was then added to the version of WeChat available in Hong Kong in November.
According to The Next Web, the five games launched on Tencent’s Weixin and QQ platforms garnered 570 million registered users within three months.
Tencent has made other efforts to turn WeChat into a social platform.
In December, it launched StoryCam, a photo sharing and filtering app similar to Instagram designed to be used as a companion app to WeChat. Users can share their images with WeChat their contacts.
Like LINE and Viber, WeChat offers stickers to be included with messages. LINE also offers a camera app.