The launch comes three years after Tencent had to withdraw all of its games and apps from India in the wake of the Centre banning Chinese apps in 2020
To be sure, Level Infinite only offers Undawn in India for now, while the Tencent-owned gaming label publishes many other games outside of India
The move from Tencent comes as Krafton has also been looking at the Indian gaming market with a new game launch and BGMI’s comeback
Chinese tech giant and the world’s largest game publisher Tencent has entered India a second time with the launch of its latest game, Undawn, in India on June 15. Tencent has entered the Indian gaming market through its Singapore and Amsterdam-based global game publishing arm, Level Infinite.
The launch comes three years after Tencent had to withdraw all of its games and apps from India in the wake of the Centre banning Chinese apps in 2020 citing national security concerns.
Among the banned apps were the South Korean gaming giant Krafton’s PUBG Mobile (for links with Tencent with which Krafton has since cut ties), Garena’s battle royale mobile game Free Fire and several gaming titles from Chinese gaming giant NetEase.
Therefore, Undawn’s launch is important since it is the first game Tencent has launched directly in the country. The game is set in a post-apocalyptic setting and is a survival game. Undawn is also being called a mobile-first game, with a companion PC version being available on Steam.
Incidentally, while PUBG Mobile was banned for its relationship with Tencent, many gaming companies owned by the Chinese giant have not faced such backlash.
The likes of US-based Riot Games (publishers of League of Legends and Valorant), Finland-based Supercell (of Clash of Clans and Clash Royale fame) and Swiss mobile games major Miniclip have all been doing well in India, despite Tencent being their parent company.
To be sure, Level Infinite only offers Undawn in India for now. Set up in December 2021, the gaming label publishes many other games outside of India, including Arena of Valor, Tower of Fantasy and Contra Returns. Tencent has said Level Infinite will release and market games for Tencent-owned studios and other partners to global audiences.
The launch of Undawn from Tencent comes as Krafton has also been looking at the Indian gaming market, having launched a new game – Road to Valor: Empires – in February this year, after its PUBG alternative battle royale game BGMI was also pulled down by Indian authorities.
However, BGMI made a comeback late last month, albeit with limited playtime and parental verification for users under 18 years of age. The playtime for users under 18 will be three hours whereas for the rest of the players, it will be six hours daily.
India is one of the fastest-growing gaming markets in the world, both in terms of revenue and gamers. Per a FICCI-EY report, India’s overall gaming industry revenue stood at INR 13,500 Cr in 2022. However, 77% of the sector revenue comes from the real-money gaming segment.