Could an Elden Ring Gacha Game for Mobile Really Work? Tencent Facing Uphill Battle


Tencent, the Chinese gaming juggernaut, is reportedly developing a gacha game based on FromSoftware’s hit Elden Ring according to Reuters.

The goal is to create a free-to-play mobile title with in-app purchases that can compete with HoYoverse’s hugely successful Genshin Impact.

However, Tencent may be facing an uphill battle in trying to adapt Elden Ring’s gameplay into a monetizable gacha format.

After acquiring the Elden Ring IP rights and a 16% stake in “FromSoftware” in 2022, Tencent has assembled a small team to work on a prototype mobile adaptation.

But progress has been slow, as Elden Ring’s expansive open world and demanding action combat don’t easily translate into bite-sized mobile gameplay.

Tencent recently canceled a Nier gacha game citing issues around monetization – the Elden Ring project seems to share similar problems.

The Chinese gaming industry has been under intense regulatory pressure, with proposed rules around monetization and gameplay engagement sending stock prices tumbling in December 2023.

However, regulators seem to have eased up after industry backlash.

Still, converting Elden Ring’s premium console/PC experience into an addictive, money-making gacha game presents clear challenges.

Elden Ring’s methodical combat, intricate level designs, and minimal hand-holding are antithetical to the design of most successful gacha titles.

Without dramatically altering the source material, Tencent will struggle to make Elden Ring appealing to casual mobile gamers.

Their best bet may be focusing on the game’s characters and lore rather than attempting to simulate the strategic, high-skill combat.

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