Tencent’s titles were banned in India in 2020, with the government citing national security concerns and escalating border tensions between India and neighbouring country China as a reason for the move. This has also affected games published by Tencent, such as PUBG Mobile, which currently operates in India under the title BattleGrounds Mobile India (BGMI), with developer Krafton cutting ties with Tencent in India and assuming publishing responsibilities.
Undawn marks the first new title Tencent is trying to launch directly in India since the initial ban on its apps. The multiplayer game is mobile-first, currently available on Android and iOS while a companion PC version is available on Steam.
India is one of the world’s largest mobile gaming markets, with the platform seeing a market share in excess of 90%. As such, the title is particularly suitable for the market, and Tencent may be hoping to leverage the country’s passion for mobile gaming.
Gaming across borders
Tencent subsidiaries based elsewhere in the world currently have their titles available in India, despite China’s tense relationship with India. It appears that Tencent may be testing the waters with its newest release.
"Tencent-owned enterprises like Supercell and Riot Games still have their games available in India and in Riot's case, also have ongoing esports commitments on ground,” said industry analyst Rishi Alwani. “They don't seem to have issues in operating here probably due to their base of operations being Europe and the US. With this move, it seems that Tencent is borrowing a leaf out of their book."
Notably, Tencent currently publishes several titles, including Arena of Valour and Arena Breakout, under the Level Infinite label. Undawn is currently the only game available on offer in India under the label, however it’s possible that more could follow should this launch be a success.
Earlier this month, PUBG Mobile topped $10 billion in global revenue.