Tencent’s DNF Mobile Game Will No Longer Be Available on Some Android App Stores

by philipschirmeist

The dispute between leading game companies and mobile phone manufacturers is constantly being brought to the forefront.

On the evening of June 19th, Tencent, as the agent for distribution, announced in an official statement that starting from June 20th, the mobile game “Dungeon & Fighter: Origin” (referred to as DNF) will no longer be available on certain Android app stores.

The mobile game launched on May 21 this year has performed exceptionally well since its release, ranking first on the iOS bestseller list for 29 consecutive days. Institutions such as BOCOM International and Sealand Securities have predicted that the first-month revenue of DNF mobile game may exceed 3 billion yuan.

Tencent stated in a related announcement that players who have downloaded games through the Android channel can re-download the games through the official game website. Account information, game progress, virtual items, etc., will not be affected by the delisting, and players can continue to play normally on the official server.

It is understood that some Android app stores that are no longer cooperating include companies such as Huawei, OPPO, Vivo, and Xiaomi. The first three mobile phone companies are also members of the ‘Hardcore Alliance’. This alliance was originally established by mobile phone manufacturers and game companies with a 5:5 revenue sharing rule.

These leading mobile phone companies each have tens of millions of units shipped annually, totaling hundreds of millions of users. Each phone is pre-installed with their own app store at the factory. Therefore, any distribution of mobile applications (including games) in China cannot bypass the channel of the ‘Hardcore Alliance’.

However, now, under the rejection from several well-known companies and products, the ‘iron curtain’ of the ‘Hardcore Alliance’ is showing signs of crumbling.

Starting from 2020, whether it is Tencent, NetEase or miHoYo, more and more well-known game companies are no longer choosing to cooperate with mobile phone manufacturers when launching new products. However, their new products still achieve impressive market performance and receive good word-of-mouth among users.

With the transformation of the entire gaming industry from ‘channel dominance’ to ‘product dominance,’ previously disadvantaged content developers are taking back control of their own destiny.

This time, ‘DNF overturned the table’. On the surface, it seems to be just another negotiation dispute between Tencent Games and app stores like Huawei. But behind this is a major trend where game companies are rising up one after another to resist the dominant commission rules of distribution platforms. It is also an inevitable result of super platforms such as Douyin and WeChat emerging and reshaping the market cake.

SEE ALSO: Tencent Games Unveils Over 40 Products and Projects at SPARK 2022

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