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Updated February 6th, 2024 at 14:53 IST

Tencent plans to develop Elden Ring’s mobile version

Despite Elden Ring being conceived as a premium game with a fixed price, Tencent envisions transforming it into a free-to-play model with in-app purchases.

Business Desk
Elden Ring
Elden Ring | Image:Bandai NAMCO
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Elden Ring mobile: Tencent Holdings, the Chinese tech giant, is reportedly working on developing a mobile version of the popular action role-playing game Elden Ring, according to sources familiar with the matter. This move comes as Tencent aims to inject fresh momentum into its gaming portfolio.

Having acquired the licensing rights for Elden Ring from FromSoftware in 2022, Tencent assembled a team of several dozen individuals to commence work on a prototype. Progress, however, has been described as sluggish by insiders.

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Initially, Tencent had yet to publicly disclose its intentions to adopt Elden Ring for mobile platforms. The game, a collaborative effort between Game of Thrones author George R R Martin and renowned game designer Hidetaka Miyazaki, is renowned for its immersive fantasy world and intense battles against mythical creatures.

Despite Elden Ring being conceived as a premium game with a fixed price, Tencent envisions transforming it into a free-to-play model with in-app purchases, mirroring the success of titles like "Genshin Impact" from Chinese competitor miHoYo. However, this approach conflicts with the game's original design philosophy.

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Both Tencent and FromSoftware declined to comment on the matter, while sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity due to confidentiality agreements, provided insights into the challenges faced.

Tencent's past endeavours to adapt console games for mobile platforms have encountered hurdles, with a recent project based on the "Nier" franchise being discontinued in December due to concerns regarding monetisation.

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The company's caution in pursuing ventures based on external franchises has heightened amid a stagnant gaming market and the potential for substantial royalty fees to impact profitability. Moreover, the unpredictability of Beijing's game approval process adds further uncertainty, potentially leading to significant delays in game releases.

Nevertheless, Tencent is under pressure to identify a new blockbuster title, with its chairman acknowledging threats to the gaming business. While established hits like "PUBG Mobile" continue to generate robust revenue, recent releases have failed to meet expectations.

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(With Reuters inputs)

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Published February 6th, 2024 at 14:53 IST

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