Sources familiar with the matter state that the company has assembled a development team for the project, and holds the global distribution rights. This marks the latest extension of Tencent’s existing success translating PC and console titles onto mobile, having previously worked on titles such as PUBG Mobile and Call of Duty: Mobile.
The PC version of Blue Protocol released in Japan earlier this year, with an international release scheduled for release in 2024 by Amazon Games. The game follows in the footsteps of the likes of Honkai: Star Rail and League of Legends in being free to play and relying on in-game purchases for monetisation – a business strategy which feels right at home on mobile devices. The game attracted 600,000 players in its first week, including 20,000 simultaneous players at its peak, marking Bandai Namco’s biggest release on any domestic PC online game.
Japan has historically been a tough nut to crack for many mobile game makers, but Tencent has already seen significant success in the country, for example by purchasing shares of companies such as Elden Ring developer Fromsoftware. The company has also created games based on popular Japanese IPs for release on the international market, including Pokémon Unite and Naruto Mobile, the latter of which was co-developed with Bandai Namco. As such, it’s clear that Tencent is committed to the Japanese market, and in bringing its media landscape to a wider audience.
It’s worth noting that Tencent struggled somewhat in 2022 in the face of heightened regulation from the Chinese government. As such, the company has been expanding its international presence with a series of acquisitions and overseas investments, including the purchase of a 49.9% stake in Ubisoft parent company in Guillemot Bros. in 2022.
We listed Tencent as one of the top 50 mobile game makers of 2023.