Tencent Holdings, the Chinese global videogame giant, is gearing up to expand outside the home country with a focus on the U.S. market in partnership with Japanese tech major Nintendo, according to media reports. Although there isn’t any official confirmation from either of the companies, Dow Jones reported citing unidentified Tencent officials that the company hopes to leverage its partnership with the Kyoto-base company to create console games with Nintendo characters for the U.S. market.
The Wall Street Journal reported quoted unidentified official, “What we want is to expand from China, and one target is console game players in the U.S. and Europe.”
“We hope to create console games with Nintendo characters, and learn the essence of making console games from Nintendo engineers,” he was quoted as saying.
Earlier in April Chinese authorities approved Tencent’s proposal to distribute the test version Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe, paving the way for future collaborations. The current partnership, signed in April, mandates Tencent to distribute Nintendo’s characters locally in China which includes translating Nintendo Switches titles like Super Mario Odyssey and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild into Chinese. Tencent will also set up local servers for Nintendo Switch Online
The latest update suggests that now the Chinese tech major is all set to take this partnership to the U.S. and Europe to capitalize on the booming console market. Since China is putting a restriction on game-playing, the local giant is looking for global expansion and in the process has already acquired stakes in leading American videogame makers such as “Fortnite” creator Epic Games and “Call of Duty” creator Activision Inc.
Both companies are very conservative about console sales in the Chinese market as they believe that local gamers enjoy playing games on smartphones and PCs. Echoing the same, Nintendo Chief Executive Shuntaro Furukawa told analysts they should not expect a lot from the Switch in China. Despite that, the company aims to sell at least a million consoles in China, which is pretty conservative compared to over a million units sold in just the July-Sept quarter in the U.S. market.
Tencent is mobilizing all possible resources to dominate the gaming space by acquiring stakes in gaming companies. The timid response to the “Arena of Valor”, the rebranded version of the successful Chinese game “Honors of King”, in the U.S. market forced Tencent to rethink the U.S. marketing strategy. Partnership with Nintendo, which has a good track record capturing the western markets, is just a step forward in that direction.
Tencent has successfully experimented with collaborating with Bluehole to create an Android and iOS version of PUBG and currently working with Riot Games to recreate the MOBA League of Legends for mobiles with title League of Legends: Wild Rift, scheduled for launch in 2020.
Japanese major is mobilizing developer to tweak game development to better suit the fast-evolving women gamers, reported WSJ citing experts, so that vast opportunities in China and other Asian countries could be tapped.