Tencent cuts games marketing budget as China’s freeze on the industry continues

Tencent cuts games marketing budget as China’s freeze on the industry continues

Tencent is reining in its games marketing budgets as China’s industry freeze continues.

Bloomberg reports that an internal document is asking marketing executives to “endure the hard times together” by enacting greater control on cash flow and curtailing spending.

In doing so, Tencent will be withdrawing unused marketing funds from games that hadn’t been approved before the Chinese government froze the licence approval process. It is also halving branding budgets from more mature titles if those funds hadn’t yet been deployed.

China’s block on game approvals began earlier this year amid a government restructure, alongside both moral concerns and an apparent growing short-sightedness problem among Chinese youth.

Analysts predict it could potentially last into the first half of 2019. As a key player in the region’s industry, Tencent has already lost a significant chuck in value thanks to the blockade.

A temporary green channel was set up late this summer to let developers test monetisation, which Tencent had hoped would let it get a return on Fortnite distribution. Unfortunately, that channel was closed after only a brief period of availability.

But the publisher has many fingers in many pies and this move sees Tencent attempt to minimise the damage until China sorts out its games market.

Increasingly, Chinese developers and players have been turning to Steam, as Valve’s platform has yet to fully come under government scrutiny.

Staff Writer

Natalie Clayton is an Edinburgh-based freelance writer and game developer. Besides PCGamesInsider and, she's written across the games media landscape and was named in the 2018 100 Rising Star list.