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Tencent Sees Console Viability as ‘Arena of Valor’ Hits One Million Installs on Nintendo Switch

Arena of Valor,” Tencent Games’ first title to ever make the leap to console, just hit one million downloads on the Nintendo Switch, the company announced Friday. Proof, it believes, that it can bring more of its mobile titles to console.

“This is a very important milestone for not only the game, but also for us as a publisher coming to the West,” Edward Gan, product manager for the game at Tencent, told Variety. “We’ve been able to take a game from its mobile roots and redevelop it for the Nintendo Switch, the first of its kind mobile home console, and I believe that gamers saw this natural fit which has resonated through their adoption of the game.”

The Nintendo Switch port of the popular mobile multiplayer online battle arena game, launched on Sept. 25. The game was completely rebuilt with new assets and tweaks to controls to take advantage of Nintendo’s hybrid system, the company said at the time. The game is free to play and doesn’t require a Nintendo Switch Online membership.

Arena of Valor” is the westernized version of “Honor of Kings,” which Tencent originally released in China where it is hugely popular. As of September, it had made over $140 million outside of China and its gross revenue in the first half of 2018 was up over 50% compared to last year, according to market intelligence company Sensor Tower. First half-year revenue in China was up as well, over 25%. That country accounts for about 96% of the game’s more than $3.5 billion revenue to date.

Gan declined to share specifics on the number of concurrent players in “Arena of Valor” on the Nintendo Switch or the sort of spending the company is seeing in that version of the game.

“We can’t divulge specific concurrent player counts, but we have a healthy community that plays daily,” he said. “Because of this and the global servers that we were able to implement in the Nintendo Switch Edition, we’re able to see average queue times averaging around only 15 seconds to 30 seconds to start a 5v5 matchup.”

In terms of spend, Gan said that Tencent is “very excited to see a trend in console with overall higher monetization than even the mobile SKU. Because of this, we see great potential with Tencent and our future in the console space.”

For now, Tencent games is focusing on picking through the content for the game that has already hit the mobile version to see what would make sense on the Nintendo Switch.

“We’re being selective in what and how we bring this to the entirely different ecosystem and player base on console,” he said. “The team evaluates each new hero and their effect on the metagame before decided what content should be carried over to this unique SKU.”

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