Many of us have been there. The latest triple A game lands and you can’t stop playing it. When you finally snap from the addiction, the wife and kids have gone and you are unemployed. In China, authorities are concerned about levels of addiction regarding the smartphone game Honour of Kings.
In response, game developer Tencent Holdings, says it will limit play time for younger gamers. It’s true, Honour of Kings is a time muncher and in China there is concern kids are becoming too addicted to the title.
If you are unfamiliar with the game, it is a fantasy role-playing game that uses Chinese historical characters. It is currently the most successful revenue maker on Google Play for Android and Apple’s App Store.
The game has 50 million active users in China. This makes it more popular than Pokémon Go was a year ago when it exploded. Honour of Kings has popularity outside of China, with 200 million users. Reuters reports that the game is favored by younger players, with more than half users under 24 years of age, and a quarter (40.1 million) below 19 years.
According to a report on the South China Morning Post, Tencent has been coming under pressure from parents and teachers. As well as being addictive, there is concern about the violence of the game.
The developer has responded to the calls and will now begin restricting play time for young gamers. Starting today, anyone under 12 will be restricted to one hour of play time per day. For those between 12 and 18 years, the time allowance will increase to two hours. Tencent says it will also block gamers under 12 from logging on after 9pm.
It is worth noting that Chinese authorities could have come down hard on Tencent if it had not complied. Nevertheless, the developer is also making restrictions to how much younger gamers can spend on the game in purchases.
There are also new parental controls that were announced earlier in the year. These allows parents to monitor their children’s activity on Tencent developed games.
“There are no rules to prevent indulgence in mobile games in China, but we decided to be the first to try to dispel parental worries by limiting play time and forcing children to log off,” the developer said.