Fortnite (Free) will launch in China soon, with the cooperation of Chinese mega-corporation Tencent. Users can start downloading the client and sign up with their QQ account, though no word on the mobile version specifically is available, though it would make sense for the game to launch on mobile. An account transfer process will exist for those who already played the international version and want to bring their existing items to their Chinese version account. Additionally, a mobile companion app will be available, featuring live broadcasts of Fortnite players.
Fortnite‘s mobile launch seemed like a harbinger of the game launching in China. While PC gaming is absolutely popular, enough people play on mobile in China that games which replicate popular PC/console titles tend to do really well there. Even though League of Legends and PUBG are popular on PC, Arena of Valor (Free) does exceptionally well as Honor of Kings in China, and many of the battle royale games on mobile now launched first in China. It’s a crucial market for any game. And Fortnite seems especially poised for success in China now that it has cross-platform play. Even just the cross-progression might make for an intriguing prospect for the game’s business prospects. Of course, considering how popular the game is in other territories, it’s possible that Fortnite would make a ton of money no matter what.
The other news is that Tencent and Epic are going to invest money into the game’s esports scene: 50 million yuan (about $7.9 million USD) will go toward supporting esports teams, commentators, and content creators, with another 50 million yuan going toward the creation of in-game content and video content creators.
Tencent already had their hands in Fortnite‘s business in an abstract sense, with a 48% ownership stake in Epic Games, but this puts them more directly involved with Fortnite. Tencent also has a stake in PUBG via the mobile version that they published, and an investment in PUBG publisher Bluehole.
Epic has plans for a tournament at E3, the Fortnite Party Royale, so expect more competitive Fortnite news to hit in the coming weeks, for sure. Whether the Fortnite esports (fortsports?) scene will expand beyond China remains to be seen. PUBG is trying esports as well, though the constantly-changing nature of these battle royale games might make them tough for competitive players to keep up with, and there are broadcasting challenges as well. Of course, that might be part of the fun! Regardless of whether these esports efforts work or not, Fortnite‘s about to get a lot more players and make a lot more money for Epic and Tencent.