Tencent Games has announced that Honour of Kings (王者荣耀, known as Arena of Valor outside China), a popular mobile multiplayer battle game, will be undergoing a system revamp on September 15. One of the most prominent updates is the enforcement of real-name registration for all new users, Tencent said on its WeChat official account.
Tencent said it will adopt the most stringent real-name verification, which will be integrated with the public security database. This will enable the platform to better manage its platform and enforce new rules. The new identification system, which took months to develop and test, will enable Tencent to better identify underage players who are subjected to Tencent’s game addictive prevention program. Tencent said it expects to adopt the same real-name verification system on its other online games.
In June 2017, Tencent implemented a new policy that restricts players under 12 from playing for more one hour a day and older teens from playing for more than two hours a day. The move to increase parental controls and improve the identity verification system was a response to the increasing government scrutiny of video game publishers in China regarding addiction and violent content. Implementing the new restrictions entails financial risks. As one of Tencent Games’ smash hit, Honour of Kings has amassed more than 200 million registered players, 20% of whom are underage.
That was not the only time Tencent finds itself at odds with Chinese regulators. In August, Tencent was forced to remove blockbuster game Monster Hunter just days after launch because regulators revoked its license.
Industry growth has slowed significantly as the government tightens its control over video game publishers in China. Industry growth dropped to a single digit for the first time in a decade. The Chinese government regularly requires games to be modified for its citizens. amid a months-long hiatus in government approvals for upcoming titles.