Update: Konami is working with Tencent's TiMi Studios to bring Contra Returns to the West

Debuted in China in June 2017

Update: Konami is working with Tencent's TiMi Studios to bring Contra Returns to the West

Update: Konami has confirmed that Contra Returns will launch in North America on July 26th, 2021.

The game will also be available globally in key markets such as Europe and Latin America too. 

Original Story: Konami has revealed that side-scrolling run and gunner Contra Returns will launch overseas after originally debuting in China.

As confirmed by developer TiMi Studios (via Twitter) - best known for Call of Duty: Mobile -  the free-to-play title will arrive in the West sometime in the near future. Contra Returns offers players 200 levels, alongside several game modes such as one versus one, three versus three and a one-life variant.

Contra Returns (or Contra: Return as it was previously named) first launched on June 6th, 2017 in China and has "performed well" during that time, according to Niko Partners senior analyst Daniel Ahmad. It then made its way to Taiwan in 2018, with an English version later released in various parts of Southeast Asia that same year.

Contra as a series began life on arcade machines way back in February 1987, before debuting on the NES in 1988 and shifting more than four million sales by 1996.

Up, up, down, down

"After a 30-year hiatus, the Contra you know and love is back!" reads the app description.

"In Contra Returns, players can enjoy the classic side-scrolling gameplay, two-person teams, alien bosses, and signature settings and soundtrack from the original series! All with updated HD resolution, 3D character models, and vivid acoustic and visual effects to deliver a sensory experience like no other!

"Get your fighting spirit all fired up with innovative content: real-time player versus player (PvP) battles, unique heroes, companions, and team mode! Legendary heroes Bill and Lance are making a comeback, so let's kick some alien butt and save the world!

Pre-registration is available on both the App Store and Google Play, though details of which exact countries will be gaining access to the game were not shared. has reached out to Tencent for more information.

Keeping with Tencent, the company's biggest hit, Honor of Kings, recently beat out all other competition yet again to generate the largest amount of global revenue on mobile for the month of June.

It wasn't all good news, however, as a lawsuit has been filed against Tencent regarding 'inappropriate content' in the game.

Deputy Editor

Matthew Forde is the deputy editor at and also a member of the Pocket Gamer Podcast. You can find him on Twitter @MattForde64 talking about stats, data and everything pop culture related - particularly superheroes.