After conquering the western hemisphere, Chinese conglomerate Tencent is bringing Fortnite to China.
During a live presentation hosted by Tencent on April 23, a company representative said it would invest $15 million into promoting the game to its domestic audience, according to Chinese news site Donews.
Included among this promotional blitz is an official Chinese Fortnite website, where players will be able to download the game once it’s released. Tencent is also offering unique in-game items to users that sign-up and pre-order their spots on the Chinese server before the game’s impending release. The company will also allow Chinese players that have been playing on servers outside of China to transfer their data to a Chinese account to ensure that player progress isn’t lost.
The $15 million will be split between establishing both domestic and global esports events for Fortnite in the country, as well as enlist popular content creators on social media to produce video material of the game.
Released on July 25, Epic Games’ battle royale-game has quickly cemented itself as one of the most popular games in the world with a playerbase of more than 45 million unique players. Tencent, which owns a 48.4 percent share of Epic Games, has previously attempted to develop its own battle royale games to capitalize on the genre’s popularity. But with Fortnite’s success the company now appears to be putting all its efforts into making it a success in the domestic market.
The announcement came only one day following the conclusion of the first live Fortnite esports event. Twitch superstar Tyler “Ninja” Blevins was able to amass an audience of 680,000 unique live viewers, shattering the site’s overall record for simultaneous live viewers of 628,000—a record set by Ninja on March 15.
Tencent, which also owns League of Legends developer Riot Games as well as the exclusive publishing rights to Fortnite competitor Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds in China, is undoubtedly attracted by the popularity of Fortnite in the west. But when a product generates roughly $126 million per month, jumping on the bandwagon would appear to be the only reasonable course of action.