Tencent wants to take on Minecraft and Hearthstone

Tencent wants to take on Minecraft and Hearthstone

Stop us if you've heard this one before, but a company is looking to take on Minecraft.

Except, this 'newcomer' is none other than Chinese tech and games giant Tencent, who - as reported by AbacusNews - is looking to compete with both Mojang's blockbuilding blockbuster and card game Hearthstone from Blizzard.

The Minecraft competitor is titled Handcraft Planet and is set to be unveiled in Beijing. Tencent is pitching this as the next generation of sandbox games, with users able to build anything using blocks.

Tencent is also looking to get in on the card game centre by publishing Magic: The Gathering in China.

Oddly enough, despite having a stake in the developer and publisher of Hearthstone Activision Blizzard, that title is actually published in China by Tencent's biggest rival in games, NetEase. That firm, incidentally, also publishes Minecraft in China and claims to have 60m users in the region.

In 2016, the Chinese PC games market was worth a whopping $13.1bn, according to research firm IHS. That's just PC games.

In addition to taking on wanting to usurp Minecraft and Hearthstone in China, Tencent has also announced it has put $15m behind the launch of Fortnite in the region. The firm owns a stake in that title's developer and publisher Epic Games. It also has the exclusive Chinese publishing rights to the other big dog in the battle royale genre, Playerunknown's Battlegrounds.

PCGamesInsider Contributing Editor

Alex Calvin is a freelance journalist who writes about the business of games. He started out at UK trade paper MCV in 2013 and left as deputy editor over three years later. In June 2017, he joined Steel Media as the editor for new site In October 2019 he left this full-time position at the company but still contributes to the site on a daily basis. He has also written for, VGC, Games London, The Observer/Guardian and Esquire UK.