Tencent Games, the biggest online gaming company in China, has announced a ground-breaking deal with Japanese manga publisher Shueisha and games developer Namco Bandai for the rights of developing Naruto into a full-fledged browser MMORPG. Yes, the game is a web one, but a “full MMORPG experience” was promised.
1 of Tencent’s many development teams, More Fun Studio, will be developing the game together with Namco Bandai and another Japanese developer, CyberConnect2.
In an effort to boost the company’s new manga department, Tencent also signed the official manga distribution rights in China for 11 titles under Shueisha, including Gintama, Katekyō Hitman Reborn!, The Prince of Tennis, Yu-Gi-Oh!, Dragonball, One Piece and of course, Naruto. It is certainly a rare deal, given that companies in China have been illegal using images from manga as promotional materials all these years.