Nintendo recently announced a partnership with the Chinese company Tencent to publish one of its games on the Nintendo Switch, the Wall Street Journal reports. This news leads some to believe Nintendo – which has had trouble finding similar success in China as it has in other parts of the globe – may soon have a bigger footprint in the country, largely dominated by Tencent.
Thanks to the new partnership, Nintendo will be bringing one China’s most popular games, Honor of Kings, to the Switch as Arena of Battle. The mobile MOBA Honor of Kings is, as Bloomberg reports, Tencent’s most profitable game, making up for more than 50 percent of the company’s smartphone revenue and bringing in more than 3 billion yuan ($400 million USD) this April. Current reports put the game’s player count at 200 million.
There’s a caveat to all this news: the Nintendo Switch isn’t sold in China. This partnership will, yes, bring the game to the console, but only in other countries. However, if successful, Wall Street Journal adds, citing people familiar with the partnership, this could lead to the Switch hitting Chinese markets, as well as Nintendo’s mobile games making an appearance there.
“This is very positive in the longer term in getting Chinese publishers supporting the Switch,” Macquarie Capital Securities analyst David Gibson told the outlet, adding he expects the Switch to be sold in China by March 2019.
Thanks to the partnership, Nintendo’s shares shot up over seven-percent to a nine year high last Tuesday.
The deal between Nintendo and Tencent could prove lucrative for both companies. Not that the Switch is doing poorly by any metric. Within its first four months on the market, it sold more than 4.7 million units and was July’s best-selling console. Tencent’s deal with Nintendo is just the latest in the continuing growth of the Chinese company in the American video game industry. Tencent owns League of Legends developer Riot and a minority share in Gears of War creator and Unreal Engine developer Epic Games.