Elden Ring mobile game port in development by Tencent
In a surprising turn of events, the gaming industry giant Tencent has released information about an upcoming mobile game port to FromSoftware’s hit action RPG Elden Ring. Tencent revealed they had purchased the license and rights to the IP and has also bought 16% of FromSoftware shares, which heralded the start of this project.
Tencent has allocated a small development team to work on the project, but development has been bogged down by conflicts of game design elements. FromSoftware games have always adapted a one-time purchase monetization model, which is the likely cause of the disruption in the game’s development. The company hopes to take the monetization model of Hoyoverse’s popular gacha game Genshin Impact, possibly hinting at a weapon gacha system similar to the aforementioned game. There are still plenty of gameplay elements that remain unknown for this game and whether it will be a direct port or a different genre of game altogether.
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Elden Ring as FromSoftware’s Capstone
Elden Ring is a highly successful game; it even became a Game of the Year winner for 2022. It is one of FromSoftware’s crowning achievements, along with their mainline Dark Souls series, which defined a new genre of games. The game takes the classic Soulslike combat of its predecessors and sets it on an open world packed with secrets to find, which contributes to the massive appeal it garnered. FromSoftware is considered by many to be the golden standard for game developers, so players are understandably shocked when the news of an Elden Ring port under Tencent. With the size of Elden Ring’s map, many wonder how they can fit the same map into mobile phones without becoming too demanding for memory or file size.
Tencent’s Acquisition of Major Gaming Companies
Tencent has had previous projects related to different popular game franchises, such as Assassins Creed Jade, PUBG Mobile and Call of Duty Mobile, as well as projects that have been cancelled, such as their Nier mobile game. The company also holds majority shares of other prominent studios such as Riot Games, Epic Games, Ubisoft, and Activision Blizzard, giving them a library of IPs to potentially develop new games from. They have even expanded to other companies beyond the video game industry, as Hasbro reportedly sold the Dungeons and Dragons license to Tencent.
However, the company has recently struggled with earning revenue for games due to China’s restriction on game time and the licensing costs for pre-existing IPs. Still, many in the gaming community were surprised by the announcement since FromSoftware and Tencent have completely different approaches to game design. They have not made any statements about the development of this game nor their sale of the Elden Ring license.
Time will tell if the project will be slated for a release or end up cancelled, but if the game were to release today, it may become a divisive game for many gamers. But with games like Genshin Impact becoming a success, there may be a chance for the Elden Ring mobile game to see some success as well, though that entirely depends if the port turns out well.