Mobile gaming

Tencent launches Battlegrounds on mobile in the US

Mobile version of the multiplayer online game already tops the app charts in 14 countries

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 21 March, 2018, 4:04pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 21 March, 2018, 5:35pm

Tencent, China’s largest game publisher, has launched the mobile version of one of the world’s bestselling titles in the US, to run on both iOS and Android.

The Shenzhen-based company is due to issue quarterly earnings later on Wednesday.

The game, Battlegrounds, or PUBG to gamers, was created by PlayerUnknown and is already number two on Apple’s iOS in the US, and closing in on chart-topper Fornite, according to San-Francisco-based app intelligence firm Sensor Tower, and that is still without a launch in Japan and the UK.

The mobile version of the multiplayer online battle royale game, already topping the app charts in 14 countries, allows up to 100 players to fight each other until the last man’s standing. It is number two in Canada.

Tencent Games developed the international mobile version in collaboration with PUBG Corp. It was previously only available in China.

Fornite, a similar game to Battlegrounds, was developed by Epic Games in which Tencent also owns a stake. But it’s currently sold by “invitation-only”, and available just on iOS.

While Tencent tries to diversify its revenue stream, games remain its main money spinner through its social media app WeChat, which has more than 1 billion monthly users.

The global launch is previously China-focused Tencent’s latest move to increase its presence on the international market.

Early this year, it made its bestseller fantasy role game Honour of Kings available to North America, after renaming it Arena of Valor.

It bought the publishing rights of Battlegrounds in China last year and quickly began developing mobile versions, despite it being criticised by the country’s regulators for being “full of gore and violence”, and that its gladiatorial survival instincts deviated “from China’s socialist core values, traditional Chinese culture, and moral norms”.