This is according to a report in Bloomberg, which states that the company will expand its marketing and distribution network to launch a mobile version of the wildly popular shoot-em-up game in the US, Europe, and Latin America.
It has said that it is adapting and taking lessons from its experience launching Arena of Valour – a Western take on its Honour of Kings title, which was massively successful in China, but caused the company problems once it exported West.
The adaptation of Call of Duty reflects a new strategy for international expansion. As with Arena of Valour, in which the company developed a game natively for export, there were significant limitations for the company, as WARC wrote earlier this week.
The experience highlighted a lack of expertise in key areas including distribution and user demographics, as well as a cultural disconnect between developers and players. Effectively, Tencent initially bet on a transposal of ideas that had worked in China. They didn’t translate as intended. Additionally, the company’s ownership of China’s main social network, WeChat, meant that it owned a significant mobile distribution channel and could enjoy efficiencies; the platforms that dominate elsewhere did not do the same job.
Though reports suggested that the struggles around Arena of Valour had led to its marketing and sales teams being disbanded, Tencent disputes this. It is planning to hire more developers for its US unit.
By taking on Call of Duty, Tencent is adapting an already popular format for mobile and sticking to what its best at.
“We’ve accumulated a lot of experience from developing mobile games in the past, and we think we have a pretty good chance of exporting our know-how,” said Vincent Gao, overseas marketing director for Tencent’s TiMi Studio Group, in an interview with Bloomberg. He added that the company was looking to introduce more categories with top-tier game developers in future.
The reason for expansion is slowing growth at home, and investor expectations for it to continue at a strong clip. What’s more, regulation in China has started to hit the company, which produces a number of fighting games, as it clamps down on content that the government deems too violent or too addictive to teenagers.
Tencent says it has chosen Activision Blizzard’s Call of Duty because it is one of the all-time best-selling video game franchises. The game is still in testing and the company hasn’t set a date for rollout. It is as yet unclear how it will share revenues with Activision Blizzard.
“While Tencent has focused mostly on China in the past, we are now looking at the gaming sector with a much more global perspective,” Gao said.
Sourced from Bloomberg, WARC