Tencent Honor of Kings' successful mobile strategy game is proving too popular in China. This weekend, the company announced plans to introduce new contracts into the game that would allow children and parents to negotiate the terms of play time. "With the proposed function, children can exchange their playing time by doing household chores or reaching certain scores [academic]," Tencent CEO Ma Huateng told a news conference, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Launched for the first time in China in 2015, Honor of Kings has an estimated number of 200 million players per month, making it one of the most popular games in the world. But it has also been the target of criticism in its home country for its addictive properties, and Tencent previously introduced restrictions to prevent children under 12 from playing more than an hour a day. This, in turn, led to an increase in false identifications online, as the children tried to avoid the new restriction.
The game has been so successful that it has led to a series of urban legends, including the story of a blind woman for playing too much. According to reports, the Chinese military has also been concerned about the influence of Honor of Kings on the psychological and physical health of its soldiers. In addition to the new contracts, which, in theory, will prevent children from focusing exclusively on the game, Tencent also says that it will launch new educational titles designed to teach children mathematics and science through games.
Meanwhile, at the end of last year, Tencent began deploying Honor of Kings outside of China, under the new name Arena of Valor. The game is currently available on iOS and Android, and a version of Nintendo Switch is also in process.