Ubisoft are looking to expand in to the Chinese game market, and have annouced a partnership with publisher Tencent and developer PlayCrab to bring their Might and Magic franchise to mobile platforms there.
Tencent own WeChat, a platform that allows for the publisher to exlusively distribute titles to over 889 million monthly active users, whilst PlayCrab regularly top the iOS and Android charts with their releases.
The deal could be the first of many as Ubisoft seek to exploit their back catalogue of IPs for a large, mobile friendly market. "This is a significant step forward in our mobile strategy, working hand in hand with Chinese developers and publishers to create games based on our existing franchises that are tailored to Chinese players and can tap into the market’s enormous potential," said Jean-Michel Detoc, executive director for Ubisoft Mobile.
“We couldn’t have dreamed of better partners than PlayCrab and Tencent to bring the saga of Might and MagicHeroes to mobile players and to the Chinese market. Tencent is a world-leader and a hit maker when it comes to mobile games in China, and this deal shows that they are confident our rich portfolio of brands can appeal to Chinese players.”
The Might and Magic franchise had been chosen to take advantage of China's enjoyment of retro IPs, and the franchise is already incredibly popular, with Heroes of Might and Magic 3 highly regarded, as Steven Han, project operations manager of Tencent, explained.
“The franchise is already supported in China by a highly engaged community of millions of fans, and we’re convinced that this new game will appeal to both fans and mobile players."
The game, Might and Magic Heroes: Era of Chaos, has been developed by PlayCrab who are the first to make a mobile installment of the long running franchise. "
“We believe this addition to the franchise is a great fit for the booming mobile game market here in China, said PlayCrab CEO, Kevin Ye. "By bringing the franchise to mobile, we offer both fans and newcomers alike an experience they can enjoy at their own pace, anywhere and at any time”.
Speaking on the Ubisoft blog, Aurélien Palasse,head of licensing and publishing at Ubisoft Mobile China, said: “Tencent is incredibly selective in the games they publish. They definitely favour quality over quantity. The only few other western IP games available on the store are King’s Candy Crush, Supercell’s Clash Royale and Infinity Blade. It is definitely a great achievement for Ubisoft to successfully position one of our IP here among the best.”