Apex Legends is the latest battle royale to take over gaming, and that means it is drawing the attention of Chinese megapublisher Tencent. That company wants to work with Apex Legends publisher Electronic Arts on bringing a version of the game to China, according to South China Morning Post report.
I’ve reached out to Tencent and EA for comment.
“We do not comment on rumors and speculation,” an EA spokesperson told GamesBeat.
Tencent has not yet responded, but I will update this story with any new comment from that company.
While we cannot confirm this rumor, it falls in line with how Tencent is approaching its game-publishing business. The company owns a minority share of Fortnite developer Epic Games. It is also the publishing partner for PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds. So it has its hands in the two biggest battle royale shooters prior to Apex Legends.
It even built its own battle royale, called Ring of Elysium, to compete with those other games. Bringing Apex Legends into that stable makes sense — especially because Chinese gaming fans can’t seem to get enough of the genre.
China: Complicated but worth it
If Tencent does end up striking a deal with Electronic Arts, that would give the Apex Legends company an easy entrance into the biggest gaming market in the world. And launching a game in China is not easy for a foreign company — even one as large as EA.
As part of a publishing deal, EA and developer Respawn would have to give up a significant chunk of revenue made in China, but that is better than leaving that money on the table.
And EA has a history with Tencent. The companies work together regularly to bring Plants vs. Zombies games into the country. Plants vs. Zombies is a massively popular brand in China, and EA has leveraged its partnership with Tencent to capitalize on that. So it’s possible that EA may try to do a similar deal for Apex Legends.