Tencent’s top-grossing game Honour of Kings has opened for pre-registration in North America with its rebranded overseas version, “Arena of Valor”, to be available on iOS, Android and Nintendo Switch, Chinese media  Sohu is reporting.

The first report of Tencent’s “free-to-play MOBA (Multiplayer Online Battle Arena)” game Honour of Kings landing in Europe and the United States game market traces back to this July. Foreign media said this move is a “curve strategy” for Tencent to attract overseas gaming fans.

Nintendo has announced that the “Honour of Kings” will be available on the Nintendo Switch platform in September, which brought a polarized reaction from game players and investors. Game players, especially Chinese players who tried out overseas version of Honour of Kings on Switch and either showed restrained or opposed attitude. There was even a game player who wrote a long article to explain why Tencent is not suitable for the Switch platform.

Related investment and the industry is generally favorable to this Tencent move. Citigroup said that it is too early to comment on whether the current “Arena of Valor” will be successful or not, and this will help “Honour of Kings” to expand its global gamers, especially in the United States and Japan. Citigroup also said that if the “Arena of Valor” in the Nintendo’s Switch platform is successful, it will help the success of “Honour of Kings” mobile version in the long term.

Currently, overseas version of “Honour of Kings” has landed in Southeast Asia, South Korea, UK and other regions, but the game is not as popular as it is in China. In the UK, “Arena of Valor: 5v5 Arena Game” is not even on the top 200 game chart. When it comes to the MOBA genre, most players in Europe and the United States still prefer playing  MOBA games on PC such as DotA2 and LoL, rather than playing it on mobile.

The game is seeing fluctuating rank in Southeast Asia and South Korea region, ranking inside top 100 game chart. Despite Tencent’s efforts to localize “Honour of Kings” to meet gamer’s taste in different regions, it seem to have little effect on the overall result.

In South Korea, “Honour of Kings” is named Pentastorm (펜타스톰) and launched through Kakao. The Chinese game ranked 15th among all iOS app games in South Korea based on the data gathered in this July by Daily Game (in Korean). In a country famous for e-sports matches, Arena of Valor International Championship: Asia 2017 (AIC Asia 2017) will be held on November 24th and 25th for semi-final and final match, gathering top game teams from South Korea, Taiwan, Vietnam and Indonesia.

Eva Yoo is Shanghai-based tech writer. Reach her at evayoo@technode.com

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