We’ve known that games were coming to WeChat for a long while now, but it seems they’ve finally arrived. Late Monday evening, Tencent rolled out one game as a test of the service’s ability to become a game platform, and promised that ten more are coming. At present, they’re only available to Android users using Weixin (the Chinese version of WeChat), so iOS users and international WeChatters are out of luck.
The game that’s currently available is called LinkLink, and it can reportedly be played together with WeChat or QQ friends, as well as shared within WeChat friend circles. It also has an in-game leaderboard to show how your WeChat friends are doing, score-sharing, and the ability to share in-game health units that allow you to play the game without interruption. (Of course, you can also buy those, which is how the game makes its money).
The other games coming to the app cover most casual gaming genres and will reportedly include popular hits like Plants vs. Zombies 2 (presumably the Tencent-exclusive version that we previously reported the company has partnered with EA to operate), Fruit Ninja, and Temple Run 2 along with some Tencent originals. The new games will be rolled out gradually, with another reported to be launching in beta sometime later this week.
Given the success Line and KakaoTalk have had with turning chat apps into mobile gaming platforms — and all we’ve already heard about it — this news comes as a surprise to no one. But with games finally beginning to trickle onto the service (albeit in limited beta form), could WeChat’s profit growth start to catch up to its ridiculously fast user growth? And perhaps more importantly, will the games platform come to users outside China? We can’t wait to find out.