Chinese firm Tencent is working on a free-to-play mobile version of FromSoftware’s acclaimed title Elden Ring. According to Reuters, Tencent has a team of, “a few dozen people" dedicated to developing the game.
This comes after Tencent Holdings acquired a 16 percent stake of FromSoftware in August 2022 but progress has been slow. If the report is accurate, the 2022 Game of the Year winner would join a series of gaming IPs licensed by Tencent to develop mobile free-to-play adaptations such as PUBG Mobile and Call of Duty: Mobile.
While Tencent is yet to officially announce the development of a mobile free-to-play Elden Ring, the Chinese firm and its affiliated companies are also working on creating mobile versions of Need for Speed and Assassin’s Creed.
Despite their popularity, achieving success with these mobile titles can be challenging. As previously reported by Reuters, licensing agreements of this nature may entail royalty fees ranging from 15 to 20 per cent of sales, in addition to platform fees such as Apple's commission of up to 30 per cent.
Last year, Tencent pulled the plug on Apex Legends Mobile which it had developed in partnership with EA. Also, it scrapped an undisclosed mobile game inspired by the Nier franchise due to monetisation concerns despite being under development for two years.
Similar hurdles may hinder Tencent as it endeavours to adapt Elden Ring into a free-to-play format. A mobile adaptation of Elden Ring comes at a time when Tencent is facing heavy competition from major counterparts miHoYo and NetEase.
“Gaming is our flagship business... But in the past year, we have faced significant challenges,” said Tencent’s chief executive and co-founder Pony Ma during the company’s recent annual meeting in Shenzhen. “We have found ourselves at a loss, as our competitors continue to produce new products, leaving us feeling having achieved nothing.”