Tencent Games is best known for its mobile offerings but is now branching out into big-budget console games to step up its global appeal. Its upcoming release Last Sentinel, courtesy of US-based outfit Lightspeed LA, pits players against robots in a dystopian Japan of the future.
At The Game Awards in Los Angeles on 7 December, the Shenzhen-based firm unveiled a first look at the open-world game, which is set to be Tencent’s most ambitious yet. The sneak peek provided was a cinematic CGI trailer rather than gameplay footage, so gamers are still debating key details, such as whether it will be a story-driven single-player game or a multi-player format. Last Sentinel has no official release date as of yet.
Last Sentinel is the debut title from Lightspeed LA, the first North American AAA game development studio under Tencent’s Lightspeed & Quantum Studio Group (AAA is a classification for high-budget, high-profile games). At the helm is Steve C. Martin, an industry veteran known for working on some of the world’s most successful console games, including Grand Theft Auto and Red Dead Redemption.
“Last Sentinel is our ambitious first game and demonstrates LightSpeed LA’s vision to put player experience first,” said Martin. “LightSpeed LA adheres to a developer-led approach to stimulate creativity, create original interactive narrative art, and at the same time make full use of our technology, resources, and experience to present the richest and most valuable content to our players.”
Martin was brought on board by Tencent in 2020 to realise the company’s long-term vision of creating an AAA console game. Tencent made its name by adapting existing PC games into popular mobile games, but now wants to gain recognition for its own intellectual property. This will also help attract an international audience to Tencent’s games, which until now have been enjoyed mostly by domestic gamers.
In 2022 Tencent derived close to 30% of its gaming revenue from overseas, but with the major inroads in console game development propelled by its fresh global team, the Chinese tech giant is on track to reach its aim of 50% overseas revenue in the next few years.