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Razer partners up with Chinese internet giant Tencent Holdings

The Hongkong-listed gaming peripherals company released a statement saying that the partnership will cover hardware, software, and services.

Razer said it is working with Tencent on a raft of initiatives related to smartphone-based games. The two companies are working on optimizing Tencent games – which includes the widespread PUBG and Fortnite – for Razer’s mobile game platforms and the Razer Cortex mobile game launcher.

The duo also said they might explore additional monetization opportunities for mobile gaming that could see Tencent integrate Razer’s services, which include a rewards or loyalty program, in some areas.

Razer’s latest earnings show a growth of 38 percent to reach $712.4 million. Razer recorded a net loss of $97 million for the year, down from $164 million in 2017.

Nabbing Tencent is a PR coup, but it remains to be seen just what impact the relationship will have at this stage. Subsequent tie-ins would be a notable development and perhaps positive signals that the market is seeking.

Razer CEO Min Liang Tan asserted that Razer smartphones were never designed to be “iPhone-killers” that sold on volume, but there’s still uncertainty around the unit with recent reports suggesting the third-generation phone may have been canceled following some layoffs.

“Nobody was talking about gaming smartphones, without us doing that, the genre would still be perceived as casual gaming,” Tan told TechCrunch in an interview. “Even from day one, it was about creating this new category… we don’t see others as competition.”

Tan said that Razer is planning about focusing on the software side of the mobile gaming business. He said that they will never publish games as Tencent and others do, instead, create a more immersive experience and tying in other services, which include its Razer Gold loyalty points.

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