In addition to the agreement with PUBG Corporation last week to operate the popular online PC game "PlayerUnknown's Battleground" (PUBG) in China, Tencent is now working on bringing the smartphone version of the game to the country, the Chinese tech giant announced on Monday.
The PC game, which sees 100 players violently battle to the death on a remote island until only one player survives, has been sold more than 21 million copies, according to the latest data, Tencent said.
By cooperating with PUBG Corporation, a subsidiary of S. Korean publisher Bluehole, the Chinese tech is aiming to preserve the essence of the game in terms of gameplay and structure.
Besides bringing the original experience of PUBG to Chinese players, the two tech companies will also make optimizations to adjust the game to smaller screens, The Verge reported.
The mobile version of PUBG will be available first to players in China. More details will be provided in the near future, Tencent said.
Challenges in China
Although PUBG is seen as the ancestor and most popular version of its kind, dominating the Chinese market is not easy.
Chinese tech companies such as Xiaomi and NetEase have already released their PUBG-styled mobile games, "Xiaomi Guns" and "Knives Out", and attracted numerous fans before Tencent's Monday announcement, which makes PUBG a late-comer in the battlefield.
Despite the popularity of the "last man standing" game in China, the theme of PUBG got a negative attitude from Chinese regulators.
"The administration expressed clear disapproval of this play style," the gaming branch of the Publishers Association of China said on its web page. "Similar games may not be allowed to publish. Thus we advise against the idea of importing or making games of this style."
The game is also accused by the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television of promoting the concept of people killing each other, which was incompatible with the core value of the Chinese people.
Another challenge for PUBG in the Chinese mobile game market are concerns raised by parents. The rising of mobile games such as "Honor of Kings" and "Onmyoji" in recent years has led to addiction of many young game players.