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Apex Legends could already be heading to China

Respawn's battle royale could already be on its way to a new market, with Tencent rumoured to be planning publication

Apex Legends, one of the best battle royale games

Apex Legends’ popularity seemed to come out of nowhere, but the game hasn’t finished growing yet. As the audience continues to get bigger, publishers are already in talks to bring the game to the Chinese market.

According to the South China Morning Post, Tencent – which publishes Fortnite and PUBG in China, and is the parent company of League of Legends developer Riot Games – is already in talks with EA to bring the game to the country.

That information comes from an anonymous source speaking to the Chinese newspaper, who says that the talks are yet to be made public. Take all of it with a pinch of salt then, but if true, it’d likely be a major acquisition for the company – the Apex Legends player count is already over 25 million, and there’s already evidence that the Chinese market is looking for ways to play it. Unlike PUBG, Respawn’s battle royale has the advantage of being free-to-play, which is likely to play nicely into its hands with any new audience.

Industry analyst Daniel Ahmad tweeted to say that were Tencent not to publish the title, other companies might look to step in. Netease also publishes several battle royale titles, including Knives Out and Rules of Survival.

Related: Here’s the Apex Legends roadmap

The game’s player count would be likely to rise significantly were it published in China, but it could take a while before that happens – Fortnite didn’t head to China until April last year, several months after its release, while Apex Legends has only been out for 11 days.