China’s Tencent said it will launch its flagship mobile game Honor of Kings globally by the end of the year as the local internet giant focuses on the international gaming market.
The multiplayer action game, similar to League of Legends or Dota 2, played mostly in China, has always been the most profitable, generating $10 billion in revenue between its launch in 2015 and September last year, according to data firm Sensor. Tower.
Tencent’s international launch of the most lucrative game reflects the company’s focus on expanding globally as the local market has become fiercely competitive and suffers from regulatory strictures.
The Chinese game regulator has not granted any new game licenses to the company in China since last June. The latest batch of 60 licenses issued did not include Tencent, the world’s largest gaming company.
The company reported in May that its domestic revenue fell 1% in the first quarter. While international revenue rose 4%.
Honor of Kings, which has more than 95% of its users in China, was ranked as the highest-grossing game in the world in the month of April. Player spending totaled more than $274 million, an increase of 6.2% over the previous year, according to Sensor Tower.
In 2016, the company launched a global modified version of Honor of Kings titled Arena of Valor without much success. But this time the company is releasing the same game that is being played in China.
Honor of Kings brought $13 billion to Tencent
The international version is being launched under Tencent’s new brand, Level Infinite, based in Singapore, which was set up last year to help the Chinese company launch games outside of China.
Developer Level Infinite has confirmed to bring Honor of Kings to the rest of the world. He explained that invitations for the closed beta are arriving soon.
Within the game, players can choose characters from Chinese mythology to build teams. The game also has extensive social features such as chat integration that uses popular Chinese social apps like QQ and WeChat.
It is not known at the moment if these features are available in the global version of Honor of Kings. The company may plan to replace it with more applications present in the western market, such as WhatsApp and Messenger.
Mobile gaming is the most popular form of gaming in the world. And games like Call of Duty Mobile, Candy Crush, and PUBG Mobile bring in billions of dollars annually.