The largest mobile game in China is catching on in the U.S.
Arena of Valor, the flagship title of Tencent's mobile gaming division, has generated $3 million for the company since its U.S. release on Dec. 19, 2017. The game also passed the 1 million download mark in the U.S. in the past week, showcasing that the mobile MOBA has garnered a strong presence in the U.S. mobile gaming market.
However, $3 million is still substantially less than what the game generates in China. Known there as Heroes of Kings, the title has been downloaded over 200 million times across Google Play and App Store, and generates roughly $1.9 billion per year for Tencent—making it one of the company's most valuable assets.
A theory as to why Arena of Valor's growth in the U.S. has been comparatively slow is the success of Fortnite and PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds on mobile. Writing for Sensor Tower, a market research site focusing on the global app economy, the site's founder Oliver Yeh writes that "Arena of Valor launched in the U.S. just as the battle royale craze was beginning to heat up, with Fortnite hitting mobile three months later—and subsequently dominating the time and wallets of the very users Tencent’s MOBA is gunning for."
Although not enjoying as tremendous success outside of China, Tencent is currently attempting to launch it as an esport in both Europe and the U.S. alongside ESL. The competition, called the Arena of Valor Championship, features multiple well-established esports organizations like Team Liquid.