As first spotted on The Verge, last week Friday (at the ChinaJoy gaming conference in Shanghai) Nintendo and Tencent provided more details about their upcoming partnership to bring the Switch to the Chinese market. Despite not providing any concrete details in terms of price or release date, the duo did confirm the first games that would be available, as well as some Chinese-market-specific responsibilities that Tencent would be managing.
First off, both Super Mario Odyssey and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild were confirmed with Tencent to provide localisation into simplified Chinese. Tencent will also be taking over a sort of Cloud Management role (services and servers). According to Nintendo Life, this is handled by Google for the rest of the world. Finally, due to its huge popularity and use in China (as well as the fact that it is owned by Tencent) WeChat will be included as a payment method in the Chinese version of Nintendo’s eShop.
Despite China’s massive market size, it’s also a very complicated market for most video game companies outside of China to enter. And while it seems that this partnership is advancing to a point where the Switch may soon be officially available in China, there are still regulatory hurdles to overcome. Not to mention the ethical and possibly moral questions that Nintendo this partnership may lead to.