The Chinese mega-publishers Tencent will help Ubisoft break into their massive local market, in a deal that will see them operate, publish, and promote Ubi's portfolio for Chinese audiences.
Ubi's Rainbow Six Siege is one of the best multiplayer games on PC.
The news comes after Tencent bought a 5% stake in Ubisoft, helping them end a long-standing hostile takeover bid by entertainment company Vivendi in the process.
China is the biggest videogames market in the world, with over 500 million players in the country, but it remains largely underexposed to Western games thanks to the government’s close oversight of media and foreign influences. Tencent are thus one of the only ways in, and have brokered distribution deals for several major Western games already. They also own League of Legends devs Riot, and routinely make more money than all the West's biggest publishers combined.
“Tencent manages the largest online games community in China and one of the largest, most active social networks in the world, so this deal should help us dramatically increase our games’ exposure and engagement in China,” says Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot.
Tencent president Martin Lau adds: “We are honoured to start this new chapter of our relationship with Ubisoft, and to be able to bring many of Ubisoft’s creative and renowned titles to our Chinese customers.”
We took a detailed look at Tencent a little under a year ago. There have been many developments since, but it's a handy primer if you're looking to learn more about the biggest gaming company on the planet.