Even Will Smith Couldn’t Save Zombie Survival Game Undawn, Which ‘Flopped Spectacularly’

Even Will Smith Couldn’t Save Zombie Survival Game Undawn, Which ‘Flopped Spectacularly’

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The Will Smith-fronted zombie survival video game Undawn bombed, according to a new report.

Reuters said Undawn, which it described as a “key” in-house developed game from Tencent, “flopped spectacularly” despite being endorsed by Hollywood star Will Smith and with an alleged budget of close to 1 billion yuan (around $140 million). Sources told the publication Undawn had more than 300 developers.

PC and mobile game Undawn launched in June to much fanfare that revolved around the digital recreation of Will Smith in-game. The Oscar-winning actor plays Trey Jones, who acts as a guide to help players navigate the world four years after a global disaster.

But even Will Smith couldn’t save Undawn from failing to move the needle for Tencent. According to Reuters, quoting research firm Appmagic, Undawn brought in revenue of just $287,000 last month. IGN has asked Tencent for comment.

The failure of Undawn is one of many reasons for a strategic shift at Tencent that has also resulted in the potential delay of mobile game Assassin’s Creed Jade. Tencent is said to be focusing on casual party games and games like Genshin Impact, while moving away from working on mobile versions of Western IPs.

Tencent reportedly axed development of a mobile game based on Square Enix’s Nier franchise because it couldn’t work out a “compelling” monetisation model. An Elden Ring mobile game is also reportedly in development at Tencent, but don’t hold your breath — it sounds like this one’s a while away. Apparently Tencent wants the Elden Ring mobile game to work similarly to gacha game Genshin Impact, with a free-to-play business model supported by in-app purchases. But the design of Elden Ring, which is a single-player, premium action role-playing game, is “at odds” with Tencent’s vision.

Wesley is the UK News Editor for IGN. Find him on Twitter at @wyp100. You can reach Wesley at [email protected] or confidentially at [email protected].

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