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Xbox partners with Tencent’s Honor of Kings maker TiMi Studios

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TiMi Studios, one of the world’s most lucrative game companies and part of Tencent’s gigantic digital entertainment empire, announced Thursday that it has entered into a strategic partnership with Xbox.

The brief announcement didn’t mention whether the connection is for content development or Xbox console distribution in China, but it does say that more details for the “deep partnership” will be announced by the end of this year.

TiMi was founded in 2008 within Tencent and is behind popular mobile titles such as Honor of Kings and Call of Duty Mobile. According to market research firm SensorTower, Honor of Kings generated nearly $ 2.5 billion in gaming spend in 2020 alone. Overall, TiMi had sales of 10 billion US dollars last year. This emerges from a report by Reuters that quoted people with knowledge.

The partnership could help TiMi make a name for itself around the world by turning its mobile titles into console games for Microsoft’s Xbox. TiMi has tried to bolster its own brand and differentiate itself from other Tencent gaming clusters, such as internal rival LightSpeed ​​& Quantum Studio known for PUBG Mobile.

TiMi has an office in Los Angeles and announced in January 2020 that the number of employees in North America would be tripled. Building high-quality, high-budget AAA mobile games was the core of his global strategy. In a recent job posting by a TiMi employee, there are indications: The unit is hiring developers for an upcoming AAA title that will be compared to Oasis, a massive multiplayer online game that is found in fiction and film Ready Player One developed into a virtual society. Oasis is played through a virtual reality headset.

The latest Xbox X and Series S models will soon be launched in China, although the launch doesn’t appear to be tied to the Tencent deal. Sony’s Playstation 5 hit shelves in China at the end of April. Nintendo Switch sells in China through a partnership with Tencent that was sealed in 2019.

Chinese console gamers often resort to gray overseas spending markets as the list of Chinese titles approved by local authorities is tiny compared to the titles available overseas. However, these gray markets, both online and offline, are prone to persistent shortages. Most recently, product lists of several top sellers of imported console games disappeared from the Taobao marketplace in Alibaba in March.

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Melinda Martin