Epic Games’ massively popular survival-battle royale game “Fortnite” is finally heading to China thanks to a ¥100 million investment from Tencent, the company announced at a press conference according to Gamesindustry.biz.
Tencent, which owns 40% of Epic Games, will split that ¥100 million ($15.8 million) two ways: half of the money will be used to make in-game content and support video content creators, while the other half is used to push the game as an esport in the country. This seems to be just another addition to Tencent’s plan to create a ¥100 billion esports in China by 2020.
“Fortnite,” though a mega-success in the countries like the United States, has yet to come out in China. Though with the backing of Tencent, and with the company’s recent push for Chinese esports, it stands to reason Epic’s popular free-to-play game will continue to be a success overseas. The game made $126 million in February of this year through in-app purchases alone. On mobile, the game reportedly made $25 million in its first month.
Tencent, a mammoth video game and social media company based out of China, is probably the best partner Epic could’ve asked for with bringing its game to China. Along with owning part of Epic, it also has the rights to publish “Fortnite’s” biggest competitor, “PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds,” in China. The company is also the publisher of the mobile game “Arena of Valor,” which boasts more than 200 million players in China alone. Tencent’s CEO, Ma Huateng, is currently China’s richest person.
For all intents and purposes, “Fortnite” should not be as popular as it is. Releasing in July of 2017, after six years of development, the game was met with middling reviews from critics. However, after adding a battle royale mode in the wake of the success of “PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds” last September, the game’s popularity has been unrivaled, even being played by popular streamers such as Ninja and rappers such as Drake.