Olivia R. February 1, 2020
PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds may soon have some competition in the mobile esports arena.
During EA's Q3 earnings call, the developer and publisher revealed that they were working with a Chinese partner to bring Apex Legends to mobile devices in the near future. In response to a question about their ideas for expanding in the Asian market, they stated that they are also planning to release Apex Legends on PC in China.
"Rolling mobile out in China, you need to have a partner," chief operating officer Blake Jorgensen said. "We're working with a partner there and we're very excited about the opportunity. That partner is also helping us develop a mobile Apex for the globe."
Jorgensen went on to say that the "timing is uncertain" but it seemed like Apex Legends on mobile is a plan they're hoping to start implementing next year.
"We believe that there's a lot of opportunity there," he said.
Jorgensen said that the the same company would aid them in bringing Apex Legends to PC in China.
"We will selectively use partners where possible. We have some great studios. We think we can continue to build great games. But where possible, where a partner can either increase the time to market, or help us in markets where we don't necessarily have the ability to go to market ourselves, like China, we will use partners. And more to come on Apex and any other titles that might fit in that," Jorgensen said.
Even though EA didn't name its possible partner, Niko Partners senior analyst Daniel Ahmad is speculating that it could be Chinese gaming giant Tencent. EA has worked with that company in the past for Need for Speed Online and FIFA Online 4. Tencent is also known for successfully bringing PUBG to mobile gamers in China, and is an investor in such companies as Activision Blizzard and Riot Games.
EA talks mobile gaming and monetizing content
Chief executive officer Andrew Wilson brought up that EA has discussed Apex Legends on mobile in the past, calling it a "three-pronged strategy, the first pillar being an underlying belief that we were not monetizing our mobile games at a level that may be some of the best-of-breed inside the industry."
Wilson added that their studio has some "high-powered compelling leaders" from the mobile industry that are changing how EA thinks about "the creation of really compelling content and the monetization of that content."
"And you should expect that we'll continue to focus in an area and get more out of the existing mobile titles that actually performed really well in the marketplace and we maybe haven't been as focused on," Wilson said.
He stated that the "second pillar" is Apex Legend's mobile appeal and mobile application. But EA said they have other titles for mobile in development as well
"Mobile continues to be a focus for us and we do believe there's a growth opportunity ahead," he concluded.