From gaming to social media and its digital wallet, internet giant Tencent Holdings Ltd is known for a long list of offerings. But it is attaching growing importance to content, which the internet giant believes could generate long-term value and get its users hooked.
Tencent's Interactive Entertainment Group, which, as its name suggests, encompasses gaming, comics and animation, online literature, film and e-sports, has vowed to deepen the consolidation of content through a variety of vehicles under a new strategy called Neo-Culture Creativity.
Unlike a predecessor mission named "Pan-Entertainment", the updated slogan sharpens the cultural focus and emphasizes the synergies across different Tencent platforms, according to Edward Cheng, vice-president of Tencent and CEO of Tencent Pictures, the movie and TV series investment and production arm.
"Neo-Culture Creativity is about mutually promoting the cultural value and industrial value of content through a centralized connection of channels, in order to achieve higher efficiency for the creation of digital culture and the development of intellectual property," Cheng said.
With the unveiling of the new strategy, Tencent aims to build an overall intellectual property production ecosystem rather than focusing on individual projects.
With gaming as a pivotal point, Tencent has brought the Neo-Culture Creativity concept to life with the release of four experimental games announced at a conference at the end of April. Each of these games brings players closer to culturally or socially focused themes, and enriches their knowledge as they play.
"The vision of Tencent games is to connect more genres of games with cultural elements and give them more cultural connotations, which will allow us to explore more possibilities," said Anna Gao, the gaming division's vice-president.
Tencent is deepening its involvement in other fields of games through cooperation with leading cultural institutions at home and abroad. For instance, it entered into a partnership with the National Library of China, leveraging each party's resources to collect, digitally preserve, and disseminate information about traditional games across the country through Tencent's technology and platforms.
On the film side, it launched a publishing subsidiary of its Tencent Pictures to focus on the promotion of well-received intellectual property products, whereas business operation of comics and animation will be integrated into gaming titles such as King of Glory, major movie studios and cultural institutions like the Dunhuang Academy.
In the latest move overseas, Tencent struck a deal in early May with the British government covering areas such as film, video games and fashion, which it will bring to its large domestic audiences in China.
The collaboration will cover digital, cultural and creative projects with the BBC; the British Fashion Council; Visit Britain, the country's tourist promotion board; and technical publisher Springer Nature, known for titles such as Nature and Scientific American.