Tencent Games will be bringing their previously Chinese market only MOBA, Honor of Kings, to non-Chinese markets, beginning with a release in Brazil.
The game has been available in China since 2015, and is one of the few competitors in the genre to mega-hit League of Legends, being just as popular as its rival in the Chinese market. Brazilian players can pre register for the game now via the official website.
The Eastern Exodus
The impending release of HOK to the West is further evidence of an interesting trend.
Alongside the release of Devil May Cry: Peak of Combat and Street Fighter: Duel, Tencent has offered a flurry of new titles to the West. And while Brazil is a smaller territory than the US or Europe it is still a huge market with its own massive gaming audience.
It may be that, in the face of tightening regulations - and the possibility of another gaming crackdown still to come - that companies such as Tencent are choosing to hedge their bets and take previously established games outside the country. Doing so means little to no additional development time, and the provision of an existing support structure for games already built out and ready to go.
As a bonus, Western players get to play titles that have, up until now, remains unobtainable curios for some famous franchises. That said, it's interesting to note that HOK's wider release may cause some conflict alongside Tencent’s investments into Riot Games, the creators of rival hit League of Legends.
As to whether the business model and game design of these 'coming to the West' titles is appealing enough to succeed outside of China remains to be seen. Either way, Tencent willing to take the risk and indicates that the Chinese game market hasn’t recaptured its full confidence with recent data showing that the country’s game sales had dipped by over 10%.