Kabam and Longtu Games announced today a strategic deal to launch the hit Marvel: Contest of Champions mobile game in China. The move will test whether China’s mobile gamers, who vastly outnumber the gamers in other countries, will welcome Western content.
San Francisco-based Kabam said recently that the Marvel game has been downloaded more than 31 million times since its release late last year. Under the deal, Kabam will modify Marvel: Contest of Champions for the tastes of Chinese gamers under guidance and direction from Longtu. Financial details of the deal were not disclosed.
As part of a big restructuring, Kabam recently said it would focus only on top-tier free-to-play mobile games. The Marvel title will be the first Kabam title developed for the West and published in China. Kabam’s studio head, Nick Earl, made the announcement at the Global Mobile Internet Conference in Beijing.
“Longtu’s proven publishing and distribution business, along with its dedication to providing customers with a first-class gameplay experience, make it the ideal partner to introduce Kabam’s first game, Marvel: Contest of Champions, to China,” said Kabam chief executive Kevin Chou in a statement. “Our goal is to provide the same high-fidelity graphics that players in the West enjoy in a gameplay experience that will resonate with gamers in China. Longtu is one of the most successful game publishers in China and is just the right partner to help us do this.”
Longtu, one of China’s big entertainment companies, will distribute the title on China’s many app stores. Longtu has built a portfolio of games including Dao Ta Chuan Qi, the No. 1 game in China since 2014. Founded in 2008 and headquartered in Beijing, with studios in Shanghai and Changsha, Longtu employs about 1,000 people.
“Kabam has proven time and again to be the industry’s best steward of iconic Hollywood franchises,” said Longtu CEO Shenghui Yang in a statement. “We believe Marvel: Contest of Champions is the next big hit in China. Leveraging Kabam’s expertise in developing hit games and Longtu’s industry leadership in publishing popular games in China, this is an unbeatable partnership.”
Peter Phillips, the executive vice president and general manager of interactive and digital distribution at Marvel Entertainment, said in a statement, “We look forward to further elevating the great global success of Marvel: Contest of Champions with this agreement. The game truly delivers on the mobile-gaming experience, which our fans have now come to expect.”
Phillips is one of our speakers at our GamesBeat Summit on May 5-6 in Cavallo Point in Sausalito, Calif. And so is Kabam’s chief operating officer Kent Wakeford.