Chinese conglomerate, Tencent Holdings Limited, is hoping to strike a unique partnership with Nintendo in a bid to gain a larger share of the western console market.
The two companies collaborated earlier this year, when Nintendo gained government approval to sell the previously banned Switch in China through Tencent. Now, Tencent is looking to use Nintendo's own characters in their games.
In terms of total revenue, Tencent is currently the largest videogame company in the world. It fully owns Riot Games (League of Legends) and possesses significant portions of numerous companies including Ubisoft, Epic Games and Activision Blizzard. Despite this, the company still looms much larger in the Chinese market than anywhere in the west. Tencent hopes that by joining forces with Nintendo, it can gain a foothold in the western console market and further expand across the globe.
In a recent Wall Street Journal piece, a Tencent representative stated: “We hope to create console games with Nintendo characters, and learn the essence of making console games from Nintendo engineers.” This presents an interesting possibility for the future: Nintendo is famous for protecting its IP and striving to maintain an overall high standard of quality. If Tencent do get hold of Nintendo characters, —ignoring the question of how that would happen— what precautions would be taken to ensure that quality is upheld?
At this time, Nintendo has not responded to Tencent’s statement, so nothing is set in stone. Time will tell what the nature of this partnership truly means for Tencent, Nintendo offering up their characters to external studios does not seem likely however.