For all its global popularity, Nintendo Co. NTDOY 6.06% has had relatively limited business in China. Now, a deal with Tencent Holdings Ltd. TCEHY -1.16% has investors excited at the prospect of the Japanese company’s Switch console and smartphone games taking off in one of the world’s biggest game markets.
Nintendo shares shot up 7.1% to a nine-year high Tuesday on word that one of China’s most popular videogames—Tencent’s “Honor of Kings”—will be available on the Switch this winter.
The game is called “Arena of Valor” in Europe, where it was introduced in August; a U.S. launch under that name is set for later this year. People familiar with Nintendo’s thinking said it has been looking for ways to expand in China and sees Tencent as a possible partner, although they cautioned that nothing is in place yet. They said Nintendo looked at selling its Wii U console in China but dropped the plan.