Tencent rolls out test version of Game of Thrones smartphone game

Titled 'Game of Thrones: Winter is Coming', the game is a simulation that will let players assume character identities and visit well-known locations such as Castle Black.

Chinese tech giant Tencent Holdings has released a test version smartphone game of United States television hit series Game of Thrones, the firm’s gaming unit Tencent Games said in a statement on its official WeChat account on Wednesday.

Titled 'Game of Thrones: Winter is Coming', the game is a simulation that will let players assume character identities such as that of Tyrion Lannister, relive key moments like the infamous Red Wedding and visit well-known spots such as Castle Black.

The game was developed by games maker Yoozoo. Users who have received the invite codes could start playing the game, Tencent said.

In 2014, Tencent signed a deal with HBO which helped it clinch the exclusive rights to stream ‘Game of Thrones’ online in China. According to Tencent, the HBO-hit series has been played 960 million times on the tech firm’s video platform.

Regulatory clampdown causing tough times for China’s video gaming market

Tencent has been facing tough times for its video gaming business as China has been clamping down on the market, limiting the number of new online game releases.

In December, China approved 80 new video game titles, ending the nine-month dry spell where no new licenses were granted in the market. The games were mostly local game titles and did not include any from industry giants such as Tencent and Netease.

Tencent has lost over 20% of its market value since March and faced its first profit drop in at least a decade due to the regulatory hit. Chinese regulators suspended new titles in a campaign to combat gaming addiction, casting uncertainty over Tencent’s main business.

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