WeChat Mini Game development: prerequisites, set-up, and how-to

1. 101: What is a WeChat Mini Game? Case studies?

Mini Games = a form of Mini Program obeying specific rules / special category of Mini Program

You could make a game as a regular Mini Program, but mobile games are Tencent’s main turf, so to avoid any cannibalization of their cash cow they created a specific Mini Program category to host any game. They have all the characteristics of Mini Programs (instant access, sharing into chats etc.) with the following differences:

  • Dedicated category and entry points inside WeChat’s game menu
  • Additional APIs: leaderboards

Wechat Mini Games is open to any brand since March 2018.

Case studies

Mini Programs / Instant Apps: how Bytedance and Douyin fare compared to Tencent’s?

2. Prerequisites

Apply to WeChat Mini-Program Account: https://mp.weixin.qq.com/

3. Setup

Key takeaways:

  • HTML5 games can be converted into WeChat Mini Games, difficulty depends on the size of the original game and the framework it was based on
  • With “viral” capacity, Mini Games are designed to utilize the social features of WeChat to acquire new users
  • Same as Mini Programs, Mini Games frameworks are maturing fast and often offer cross-platform capability out of the box

4. How to kickstart WeChat Mini Game development

Workshop on WeChat Mini Games in December 2017
Deck 👇👇👇 & Source code 👇👇👇

5. Updates and timeline

DateUpdatesSource / more details
March 2019WeChat opens its Mini Game platform to developers worldwideThe Verge
March 2018Wechat Mini Games platform is open to any brand
December 2017WeChat launch WeChat Mini Games
Updated on 2019-05-09

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