Chinese Internet giant Tencent has finally released the first game targeted at its messaging app WeChat (known as Weixin in China), setting into motion an initiative that has been long-awaited.

The game, called Tian Tian Ai Xiao Chu, went live on the Chinese Apple app store over the weekend. It adopts the concept of a three-in-a-row game, just with much cuter characters. A PC Online report noted that the game takes place in a 60-second format, and you need to use a red heart each time to play a game (a red heart is generated only once every 10 minutes in the game). Once the number of hearts dwindles to zero, you either pay to purchase more hearts or ask your friends to give you one.

Users logged in with their Tencent platform accounts, either on mobile QQ or Weixin, will get to sync non-purchasing related information in the game, such as their friends lists, scores and levels. This means that friends can compete with one another, potentially making it an addictive game. Tencent has even incorporated location-based support for this game — so players can find other users nearby and also find out who is the top-scorer within their school compound or their office.

TianTian 730x431 Tencent releases first iOS game for WeChat, paving way to monetize the popular chat app

Tencent is already known for its online multiplayer games on its Web portal QQ Games, but the company’s latest move marks the first time that a game has been officially released for Weixin.

We previously reported that Tencent was already starting to roll out a test beta version of a game called LinkLink from its mobile gaming open platform, and there were 10 more games in the pipeline — making a total of 11 games.

WeChat’s competitors include Kakao Talk from Korea (which recently passed 100 million users) and Line from Japan, which has a registered user base of more than 150 million. Most of its Asian competitors have added on monetization services such as selling stickers and games on their platforms, and it has been expected that WeChat would also start making similar moves.

Last month, Tencent announced thatWeChat has chalked up 70 million overseas users — from a user base approaching over 400 million with 195 million monthly active users

➤ Tian Tian Ai Xiao Chu | iOS

Headline image via WeChat

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