China wants its piece of the Titanfall Legends, with Tencent Holdings now reportedly negotiating a deal with EA Games to bring the blockbuster Battle Royale Apex Legends to the country.
Tencent Wants to Introduce Apex Legends in China
Following a fiery, action-packed first two weeks, Apex Legends has amassed a global following so impressive that Tencent Holdings are now officially in talks with EA Games to bring the game to China, a person close to the matter has confirmed.
Adding Apex Legends would not be equal to entering an unfamiliar ground for Tencent either, with the Shenzhen-based publisher having brought two other noteworthy games from the same genre to the Chinese public, to name Fortnite, and PLAYERUNKNOWN’S BATTLEGROUNDS.
Words are Tencent is in talks with EA about publishing Apex in China https://t.co/uyeDZp446M
— Josh Ye 葉嘉栩 (@TheRealJoshYe) February 15, 2019
The news was first picked by Chinese social media Weibo and retweeted by users in the West. The post featured a screenshot showing a downloadable Apex Legends in Chinese. Though remaining largely speculation, this development is intriguing for several reasons in the very least.
First, China has a very hardliner stance on new video games, especially those originating in the west. Recently, an Ethics Committee launched an investigation into many flagship video game titles, finding the better part of them as non-compliant with the values upheld by the ruling party.
All of these worries aside, Apex Legends seems well-poised to make a splash in China.
Apex Legends in China – Why So Soon?
Released on February 4, the game has amassed a steadfast following. The game is available for PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Windows PCs. With over 25 million unique players already, the game continues to break important records, previously held by its main competitors, i.e. Fortnite and PUBG.
To compare Apex Legends with its competitors, Fortnite, which is the world’s behemoth in the Battle Royale genre, needed three months before its player base hit 30 million.
Apex Legends completely eclipsed the highest single-day viewership on Twitch for Fortnite during the week of the first Apex Challenge Tournament to take place on February 19.
Tencent’s in the Sweet spot of Battle Royale Games
Tencent is in unique position to benefit from adding Apex Legends to its list of gaming titles. To put things in perspective, Fortnite raked $2.4 billion from in-game sales and purchases in 2018, marketing firm SuperData revealed.
Still, the company hasn’t been allowed to begin selling in-game skins and goods to the Chinese public yet. Once this happens, the world’s largest gaming market will contribute its fair share. However, the coming of Apex Legends may have now stolen the thunder from Fortnite.
The news of seeing Apex Legends arrive in China is exciting. However, the State Administration of Press and Publications continues to impose an ever more restrictive rules as to what is permissible and what isn’t in the Chinese video games industry.
Tencent is definitely hardened dealing with Chinese authorities and knows how to navigate legal opposition. The company has done so for both PUBG and Fortnite. Apex Legends is another story, though. If the rumors turn out to be true, Apex Legends can indeed become legendary in the space of a few months, eclipsing the current favorite Fornite.