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Assassin’s Creed Jade likely delayed to 2025 as Tencent shifts resources, report claims

Ongoing party game battle with NetEase has higher priority
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It looks like mobile game fans will have to muster some more patience when it comes to the release of Assassin’s Creed Jade, which is being co-created by Tencent and Ubisoft. Initially envisioned as launching in 2024, a report by Reuters now claims that Jade will very likely be delayed to 2025 – and it’s not because the development is troubled.

According to Reuters, Tencent shifted “hundreds of people” from the team working on Jade to the team developing DreamStar, a recently released party game. A strange decision from the perspective of Western fans, who are probably thinking something like: “How is a party game more important than Assassin’s Creed?”

Key art for Assassin's Creed Codename Jade showing the protagonist with blades out standing in front of an open Chinese-themed door with mountains visible

Assassin's Creed Jade is a dedicated mobile AC game set in ancient China.

Apparently, this is all part of the struggle between Tencent and NetEase Games, the two giants eternally competing with each other on China’s video game market. DreamStar was developed as a counter to NetEase’s Eggy Party, which was a smash hit among Chinese gamers. These titles contain very casual mini-games with simple gameplay and lots of space to just chat and hang out with friends.

With government regulation creating volatile market conditions and independent players like HoYoverse gobbling up important market areas like gacha games, Tencent is hard pressed to defend its territory and profit margins.

While Assassin’s Creed Jade, which is set in ancient China, may have a bigger franchise name, its revenue will also have to be split with IP owner Ubisoft – DreamStar, on the other hand, belongs entirely to Tencent as an in-house product.

This move fits into a strategic pivot Tencent announced this week during an earnings call, where chief strategy officer James Mitchell said: “We're focusing on fewer bigger budget games. Typically, we're seeking to make the biggest bets around games that either iterate on a successful IP... or games that are iterating around proven gameplay success within a niche and taking those to a more mass market.”

Revenue from Tencent’s games division looked weak in the fourth quarter and pressure from the company’s founder and boss to do better is mounting. To counter this trend, Tencent has started an incubator to fund smaller, more creative projects, in order to land a surprise hit with titles that may be a bit more unconventional than the company’s recent releases.