Knives Out is a game you may not have heard of. It’s a battle royale game, put simply. Chinese gaming and entertainment conglomerate Tencent has been publishing the battle royale title since it’s inception. The game is already out in Asian markets for the Switch and mobile phones. But now Tencent is eyeing a partnership with Sony to develop a port for their line of consoles. And yes, that includes the PS5 according to some sources. The news of the PS4/PS5 port of the game was mentioned by Vincent Chi, Tencent Department Art Director/Product Manager, on his LinkedIn profile page. This would make Knives Out the second game revealed for PS5.
It makes sense that Tencent would seek to fill in gaps in its coverage with a port to the PS5 an PS4. Knives Out was considered a PUBG clone, but it exceeded both PUBG Mobile and Fortnite‘s revenues in 2018. The natural expansion for the game would be to target the most popular game consoles in Japan, China and elsewhere. Japan is a huge market for the Sony consoles, and will likely be a leader in PS5 sales, per capita, when it launches next year.
China in particular is a strange case. The process for getting government approval to sell a video game is difficult to put it lightly. The country banned the sales of gaming consoles entirely. A ban which Nintendo recently managed to negotiate its way through to massive sales of their Switch platform. And more recently, several popular titles had to navigate labyrinthine approval processes, and freezes on approval, that led to many popular titles having to wait years after their initial release to debut for Chinese audiences. Knives Out was likely a response to this process, as Tencent was unable to market Fortnite Battle Royale or PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds inside China for years.
It is currently unknown when or if the battle royale title will come to the West. Also, a launch date for the Asia releases has not been set. But it seems likely that the PS5 and PS4 releases will be staggered. As Tencent will probably be looking to use the revenue from the PS4 version to support development of expanded features on the PS5 release of Knives Out.