Elden Ring Goes Mobile: Tencent Ventures into the RPG Realm with a Portable Twist!

There are rumors circulating that Chinese tech giant Tencent is in the process of developing a mobile version of FromSoftware's popular RPG Elden Ring. Tencent increased its stake in FromSoftware to 16.25% after the game's successful launch in 2022. While Tencent is involved in various media sectors, a significant portion of its revenue, around 30%, is generated from video games. The company has multiple internal game studios and holds investments in prominent gaming companies worldwide, including Ubisoft, Riot Games, Remedy Entertainment, and Techland, the developer of Dying Light.

Despite Elden Ring receiving its first update of 2024 with an anti-cheat tweak for the Steam version, the latest buzz around the game suggests Tencent's efforts to create a mobile adaptation. The licensing rights were secured in 2022, and a team of several dozen individuals is reportedly working on a prototype for the mobile version. Inspired by the success of Genshin Impact, a free-to-play gacha game developed by HoYoverse, Tencent aims to replicate that financial success. As of now, neither Tencent nor FromSoftware has officially commented on the Elden Ring mobile game rumors.

However, Tencent faces a significant challenge in adapting Elden Ring for mobile. Unlike Genshin Impact, which was designed with gacha mechanics and in-app purchases in mind, Elden Ring was initially intended to provide a complete experience with a one-time purchase. The unclear approach to dividing the game's content behind paywalls poses a challenge, and fans might find relief in the potential difficulties Tencent is facing.

Tencent's recent cancellation of an unannounced mobile game in the NieR franchise underscores the challenges. Issues with development and licensing costs, coupled with monetization concerns, led to the cancellation of the game, which had reportedly been in development for two years. While Tencent has access to various PC and console hits through its investments, translating this access into a successful mobile monetization strategy appears to be a current stumbling block for the company.