Tencent’s extraction shooter, Arena Breakout, is set to hit global beta for iOS and the rest of the world on Android this month.
The game, being developed by subsidiary Morefun Studios, launched into beta in a variety of territories on February 17 to Android. However, this month will see it hit the rest of the world on March 9, and iOS on March 13. Arena Breakout is an extraction shooter, in the vein of games like Escape From Tarkov, where the objective is to fight your way out of a designated zone, gathering different weapons and equipment with each game, gaining an advantage of better gear on subsequent matches, but also risking losing it if they die.
Arena Breakout has been notable for its prominent marketing as a console-quality FPS. Although mobile isn’t a stranger to the extraction shooter genre, it appears that Morefun are aimed squarely at a console-PC crossover group for their new mobile title. Boasting of console-quality graphics and a much more hardcore gameplay loop by virtue of the “use it or lose it” (where players risk losing powerful loot during regular matches) nature of extraction shooters.
Console on mobile
Although Arena Breakout is not unique, it is emblematic of a wider shift towards more console-like games on mobile. The strong emphasis on graphical fidelity and comparisons to console titles shows that Tencent aren’t hoping for a solely mobile audience, but also to bring in those who expect better looks and polish from their games.
The game is also available in lite form, for lower-end mobile devices. Samsung’s announcement they would be working on optimising ray tracing for mobile devices, one of the biggest barriers to mobile games that push graphical boundaries is the greatly varying capabilities of said devices, so a lite version that is playable on more phones (although currently only on Android) is a good compromise to offer the same experience to those on less powerful devices.
Arena Breakout will likely be a major mobile release for Tencent this year, at a time when the company is already bringing many former Chinese-exclusives abroad. But just how successful a (relatively) hardcore extraction shooter will be compared to more accessible titles will likely do a lot to inform their decisions moving forward.