Tencent is Working on the Elden Ring Mobile Version: Reports
Elden Ring is one of the most successful games by FromSoftware Inc. According to anonymous sources, Elden Ring is getting a mobile version and the project was initiated in 2022. It was shortly after Tencent bought a 16% minority stake in FromSoftware.
A recent report by Reuters mentioned that the company wants to keep Elden Ring Mobile as a free-to-play game with in-app purchases akin to HoYoverse’s Genshin Impact. A couple dozen developers are working on the prototype but the progress has been slow, maybe, due to the free-to-play factor.
Tencent’s Chinese Rivalry
These reports of Elden Ring mobile came out due to the competition Tencent is facing in China. This fierce competition is from Chinese competitors miHoYo and NetEase, developers of titles like Genshin Impact and Eggy Party. This is why the company is trying to create new hits. However, a bigger obstacle they have is transferring premium console games to mobile is easier said than done.
Tencent’s chief executive and co-founder Pony Ma said during the company’s recent annual meeting in Shenzhen, “Gaming is our flagship business…But in the past year, we have faced significant challenges. We have found ourselves at a loss, as our competitors continue to produce new products, leaving us feeling having achieved nothing.” In response, Ma said, “Tencent is focusing on integrating its Hunyuan AI model into different parts of its business to increase efficiency.”
The IP Licensing Hiccup
Tencent got intellectual property licensing of Elden Ring mobile to develop free-to-play versions. This could be the latest in the long line of IP licenses they acquired. This is of course if the reports are accurate. The most successful mobile gaming were PUBG Mobile and Call of Duty: Mobile. These are not the only mobile games Tencent is working on, they are also working on mobile versions of Need for Speed and Assassin’s Creed.
Success is not guaranteed in the mobile versions of games and Tencent has proved it. In the previous year, they shut down the mobile version of Apex Legends which was created in collaboration with EA. Moreover, they also canceled a mobile game based on the Nier franchise over monetization concerns ( unannounced).
Tencent is putting in all the effort but mobile-based games like Elden Ring have the risk of failing more. So if it is successfully launched it will be a grand win for Tencent. Lastly, China’s approval system for video games can take months or years before it gives its approval. It can put any great game, even Elden Ring mobile, in jeopardy once they release it.