Are looter shooters the next big thing for Tencent?
Sharkmob, founded by The Division creators, is now a ‘Tencent games studio’
In general, the genre encompases live service games in which players… well, loot and shoot. Contrary to the traditional shooters, in which campaigns can be finished within a certain number of hours, looter shooters are open-world games that players can explore endlessly just to get better in-game items.
Tencent has already leveraged games that have no end, like Honor of Kings -- China’s version of Arena of Valor -- and PUBG Mobile, allowing them to be monetized seemingly forever or until gamers tire of them. Looter shooters are now a big up-and-comer. As a hybrid of traditional AAA games and MMORPGs like World of Warcraft, the genre is increasingly popular.
With the Sharkmob acquisition, Tencent could be readying for its first foray into the genre. The Division has already proven to be a quintessential looter shooter, and Rundqvist’s new company appears to already be working on a new addition to the genre.
Buying its way into new gaming sectors is nothing new for Tencent.
"Tencent, as one of the world’s biggest gaming companies, has been successfully acquiring elite studios to reach their untouched genres in the most efficient way," Li said.
One of the company’s biggest games, PUBG Mobile, is based on the South Korean game PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds. Tencent also bought its way into the multiplayer online battle arena genre (or MOBA).
“The company’s investment in Riot Games gave Tencent a presence in the MOBA genre and the acquisition of Supercell helped Tencent grow its presence in the strategy genre,” Niko Partners analyst Daniel Ahmad said.
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