Tencent says Honour of Kings’ playtime for kids cut in half after real name verification roll out

1 min read
Screenshot of Tencent Games’ Honour of Kings.

Tencent Games has completed the nationwide rollout of real name verification of one of its most popular game Honour of Kings (王者荣耀, known as Arena of Valor outside China) on November 19.

According to the company’s announcement (in Chinese) on its WeChat official account, the rollout was completed 12 days faster than planned.

The company’s latest figures show that the effect of the registration system has kicked in just two months after it began enforcing it on Honour of Kings. The playtime of players aged 12 years or younger fell by 46% and the playtime of older teens above 12 years old dropped 24% after the real-name ID checks rolled out.

Tencent Games started enforcing real-name registration on Honour of Kings two months ago as part of the game’s system revamp. The system, which connects the game with China’s public security database, was unprecedented for the Chinese gaming industry.

The move followed soon after Tencent came under fire for failing to curb gaming addiction among minors.

In addition, Tencent recently launched an even stricter policy on playtime which measures the time by the player rather than by accounts—one player can have multiple accounts.

Under the current playtime policy, children under 12 years old are limited to playing one hour a day between 8 am and 9 pm, while underage players over 12 are restricted to playing two hours a day. According to Tencent, the new policy has been applied to half of the underaged players on Honour of Kings.

The company has started the second round of testing of facial recognition-aided ID checks. It said it would soon expand the scale of testing as well as implementation, meaning that more users will be requested to verify their identities through facial recognition.

Earlier this month, Tencent announced plans to roll out real-name verification system to its entire game line-up by 2019.

The ongoing government crackdown on gaming and entertainment content has not only negatively affected Tencent Games, the largest video game company in the world, but the sector as a whole has witnessed its slowest first-half revenue growth in 10 years.