Tencent is a fairly well-known name in gaming, having made waves for its ownership of Riot Games, Funcom, and partial investment in Remedy Entertainment, Epic Games, Activision Blizzard, and Ubisoft. With a majority share in many studios, it’s no surprise that many games are stamped with Tencent’s name, be it as a primary developer or major financial interest.
The following ten games are among Tencent’s best contributions to the gaming industry. Whether they’re AAA releases or fell just under the radar, they offer top-of-the-line entertainment that proves that even the big guns typically working behind the scenes have some secrets up their sleeves.
SMITE: Battleground of the Gods
Multiplayer battle online arena (MOBA) games are a popular format for free-to-play experiences. Powerful heroes enter an arena and fight against swarms of minions and opposing heroes in a battle for supremacy. Each unique hero brings a host of abilities that can give them an edge on the battlefield if used properly.
SMITE is a fun take on this concept, opting for a third-person view over the standard overhead view. Players take control of mythical figures from Egyptian, Greek, Japanese, Norse, Chinese, Babylonian, and Celtic lore and choose between one of several classes, including Guardian, Hunter, Warrior, and Assassin. The mythological theme is a big selling point of SMITE, which offers a rather basic version of the MOBA format. There are several game modes to choose from, but the default Conquest will be most familiar to MOBA fans. The others are mere add-ons and easily overlooked.
Pokemon UNITE takes the lovable world of Pokemon and turns it into a free-to-play multiplayer arena, where teams of five duke it out using upgradable Pokemon in 10-minute matches. Available on the Switch and mobile devices, the Android and iOS versions get a surprising amount of love and hold up well against their console counterpart.
The game pulls inspiration from MOBAs, swapping out the rock, paper, scissors “type” system with a series of Ultimate abilities and standard attacks unique to each Pokemon. Think of a somewhat oversimplified version of Dota. It’s an interesting concept that works well and looks nice on both mobile and consoles, though it’s so simplistic it may only appeal to real Pokemon fanatics.
Taking a cue from the NES shooter, Contra Returns doesn’t try to overcomplicate things. It pulls from the original heavily as a 2D sidescroller that focuses on fast-paced gunplay and well-timed jumps and ducks.
Contra Returns captures the fun of the classic 2D sidescroller, but suffers from one thing—it’s a mobile game with the tropes of a free-to-play title. Playing a level costs energy, and you only have so much to expend each day. Unless, of course, you want to shell out some real-world dollars. There’s also an in-game store that uses real and digital currency to unlock and upgrade weapons of different rarities. Being a mobile title, these are all pretty much expected, and thankfully, they don’t take away from the fun of familiar gameplay and vibrant visuals.
Arena of Valor
Arena of Valor shares similar aesthetics to Pokemon UNITE, though its gallery of heroes is more in line with League’s extensive selection. Players choose from Tank, Warrior, Mage, Assassin, Marksman, and Support heroes to battle it out in a 5v5 setup. You’ll need to master your hero and strategically use special abilities to bring down defence towers and demolish the enemy base. The hero variety, map design, and general gameplay translate well to the mobile setting, though there’s a Switch version if you’re deadset against Android/iOS games.
Among one of the most famous battle royale games, PUBG: Battlegrounds pits players against 99 opponents in a fight for survival. Elements of survival are scattered as players must scour for weapons while remaining out of the enemy sights. Tencent Games helped bring the concept to mobile with PUBG Mobile, a successful port that captures the chaos and tension of the bigger game. Little was changed for the mobile experience, though log-in bonuses, goals, crew creation, more bots, and an auto loot system were added. Despite being a mobile version, it’s a faithful port that’s easy to jump into.
Path of Exile
Often considered a spiritual successor to Diablo II, Path of Exile is a fast-paced hack ‘n slash adventure. Players navigate a monster-filled overworld as one of several classes, collecting weapons and upgrading skills and stats along the way. If you’ve played Diablo, then everything will feel very familiar, save for a few changes to the user interface. Lifting Blizzard’s formula only benefited Path of Exile, which expanded upon it with numerous patches that are still ongoing into 2023. There’s a lot to understand in Path of Exile, and the game’s lack of direction may leave newcomers feeling lost.
To understand why Legends is so revered, it’s important to note the popularity of its PC predecessor. The mobile iteration isn’t too different, and that’s probably why it’s been so well-received. Like most multiplayer shooters, players join a team of allies to take down player-controlled opposition. They’ll use melee and ranged weapons unlocked in purchasable packs to participate in PvP, “Mutant,” and a mobile-exclusive battle royale mode. Mutant is the outlier here as players will be going through matches trying to kill the most mutants. It’s a nice break from the standard battle royale and PvP modes we’ve come to expect from shooters.
Call of Duty: Mobile
It was inevitable that Call of Duty would find its way to the mobile space. Treyarch and Sledgehammer may be at the helm of the console versions, but Tencent’s TiMi Studio took over to bring the action-packed shooter to the free-to-play mobile environment. One of Call of Duty: Mobile’s biggest strengths is how accessible it is, its competition more evenly balanced. While the core FPS experience is largely the same, the game does add a bunch of mobile elements and different game modes, including a 100-player battle royale, team deathmatch, capture the flag, 2v2, and zombie modes.
League of Legends
Two years after the launch of League of Legends, Tencent purchased developer Riot Games. It’s been a long run for the popular MOBA, and much of the content you’d enjoy today was under the direction of the conglomerate. A gold standard for MOBAs, League is an ongoing success, with notable esports tournaments and crossovers into other media like animated series and comic books. One of the biggest draws is its expansive hero roster, which broke more than 160 characters by the end of 2022. It’s wildly intimidating to newcomers, but those that stick around are treated to an action-packed arena battle.
When Epic Games decided it wanted to take Fortnite into Games as a Service territory, it knew it needed a studio that had perfected the model. Enter Tencent, which purchased a 40% stake in the company. Epic founder Tim Sweeney claims Tencent has no creative control over the ongoing battle royale game, but its cash infusion certainly helped it become the powerhouse it is today. Fortnite is a household name, whether you love it or hate it, and has gone on to feature pop culture icons like Lara Croft, Kratos, characters from Disney’s MCU, the cast of Stranger Things, and so many more. The battle royale has resulted in tournaments, esports leagues, and more.
After booting up a game, you may not see Tencent’s name in the opening credits. However, the conglomerate is there, either directly involved in the development or financially supporting the launch or ongoing content drops.
There you have it, 10 of the best games developed by Tencent! If you’re interested in playing any of these games or are already playing them, make sure to grab some Mint Prepaid Cards from OffGamers here for your currency top-ups!