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Will Smith video game was such a flop it came out a year ago and no one noticed

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Will Smith video game was such a flop it came out a year ago and no one noticed

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Will Smith has a role in a free-to-play game (Picture: YouTube)

A zombie survival game starring Will Smith you probably didn’t know existed has been a huge flop for Tencent, according to a new report.

Some game publishers might believe a celebrity endorsement is a surefire route to success, but that certainly hasn’t been the case for Undawn.

Developed by Lightspeed Studios, the free-to-play open world survival game launched on mobile and PC in June last year. While it seems to have gone entirely unnoticed, the game starred Hollywood actor Will Smith as ‘legendary survivor’ Trey Jones, who acts as a guide to help players navigate the world four years after a global disaster.

Despite being endorsed by one of the most famous celebrities on the planet, Undawn has apparently been a major flop for publisher Tencent.

According to a report, which cites research firm Appmagic, the game only brought in $287,000 (£227,000) in revenue, from a reported budget close to 1 billion yuan (around £111 million).

Two sources claim over 300 developers were working on the title, as cited by Reuters.

Its release went completely unnoticed by most, with only three reviews on Metacritic (with scores of 50, 60, and 70) and a User Rating of 1.3 out of 10, based on eight reviews.

Undawn’s failure is referenced as one of the reasons why Tencent is shifting away from big budget IP-based games, following a string of setbacks – including Apex Legends mobile, which was shut down in May last year, and an axed NieR mobile spin-off.

According to the report, the company is now focusing on smaller budget titles with a casual focus, like party game DreamStar.

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This change in strategy has also reportedly led Tencent to delay mobile title Assassin’s Creed Jade to 2025, after they ‘redeployed hundreds of people from the team’ to other projects. This, however, has yet to be officially announced.

Assassin’s Creed Jade is the biggest budget mobile game so far for the series, and was announced back in 2022. It takes place in ancient China and promises ‘vast ever-growing open worlds’ with multiplayer elements.

If anything, celebrity-endorsed video games have been cursed in recent years. Remember Crime Boss: Rockay City starring Chuck Norris and Kim Basinger? We’re trying to forget too.

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