Tencent, as part of its partnership with Nintendo, is hoping to make console games with Nintendo characters in its bid to expand from China into the United States and Europe.
Tencent and Nintendo were at ChinaJoy 2019, the largest gaming and digital entertainment expo in Asia, in August to unveil the strategy for releasing the Nintendo Switch into China. The partnership, first revealed in April, will see Tencent take charge in localizing Nintendo’s presence in China, which includes translating certain Nintendo Switch titles such as Super Mario Odyssey and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild into simplified Chinese, and setting up local servers for Nintendo Switch Online.
A Wall Street Journal report, however, reveals that Tencent is looking to further leverage its partnership with Nintendo beyond bringing its massively successful hybrid console into China, as the company seeks to expand from China and target gamers 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,” a Tencent official, who asked to remain anonymous, told the Wall Street Journal. The long-term benefit of such a project will be the chance to learn from Nintendo on how to win over gamers in the U.S. and European markets, as Tencent failed to do so with Arena of Valor.
Tencent, the largest video game company in the world in terms of revenue, is certainly no stranger to collaborations in video game development. It teamed up with Bluehole to create PUBG Mobile, the iOS and Android version of pioneering battle royale shooter PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, launching the game China before rolling out to North America and the rest of the world. Tencent is also working with Riot Games for League of Legends: Wild Rift, the mobile version of the popular MOBA League of Legends, which is set to launch sometime in 2020.
It remains to be seen if Tencent’s plan to make console games with Nintendo characters, presumably for the Nintendo Switch, comes to fruition. If Nintendo does indeed allow Tencent to tap into its stable of popular franchises, it is unclear what role it will play if such a project proceeds.
Nintendo, meanwhile, is seeing its own opportunities in expanding into China, as according to the Wall Street Journal, it has asked outside developers to make games targeting young women such as romance games, which have a following in the Asian country.