In fact, Tencent has already launched a few crackdowns on reskinned games. The company said it will ban games which straight-up plagiarize.
For instance, a reskinned version of Canadian simulation game AdVenture Capitalist was previously free to play on WeChat. All aspects of the game, including the music, were nearly identical to the original. The game was later taken down after complaints were filed.
According to Chinese media, some gaming companies even openly sell the source code of hit games on Chinese ecommerce sites, targeting those who want to publish games on WeChat.
If you want to hire a studio to reskin a hit game for you, it would reportedly cost you somewhere between US$3,000 and US$7,000, with a one to three weeks development period.
For anyone familiar with game publishing, you might be puzzled by how this new cut is notable. After all, Apple’s App Store and Google Play have been operating with a 70-30 split with app makers for a while now.
But in fact, Chinese Android’s app markets have adopted a 50-50 cut since the very beginning, with none willing to budge.
The implications are amplified when you consider that Google Play is blocked in China, while the country’s Android market is growing bigger and bigger by the minute as more homegrown smartphone brands rise to prominence.
But recent signs of Google’s plan to grow more in China is making people think that a marketwide standardization of a 70-30 split is destined to happen -- something to bear in mind when considering Tencent’s apparent generosity.
However, the good news has come at a very inconvenient time. China has stopped approving new games this year, so none of the mini games on WeChat are currently allowed to monetize.
With that being said, mini apps and mini games are still a hugely attractive market for programmers. According to Tencent co-founder Pony Ma, WeChat's mini apps section has 200 million daily users -- and each active user was reportedly engaging with mini apps at least four times a day.