Beginning Saturday, Sept. 15, “Honour of Kings” players will need to use their real names when signing up and logging into the game to ensure that the company behind it, Tencent, can track their playing time, according to Reuters.
“Through this initiative, Tencent hopes to continue to assist players who are underage to play safely,” the company said in a post on the WeChat account. WeChat account.
“Honour of Kings” is called “Arena of Valor” in the West. It’s a wildly popular online multiplayer battle arena (MOBA) game that is similar to “DOTA 2” also known as “League of Legends.” It’s currently the highest-grossing game on mobile in China.
Reuters said it is the only one of this kind within the Chinese gaming industry. It will be linked to China’s national security database to identify minor players. The Chinese government thinks gaming addiction is a severe issue in China and restricts the number of times children are allowed to play. Presently, Tencent only allows children younger than 12 years old to play its games for an hour each day, while those between 13-18 can play for up to 2 hours.
Last week the Chinese Ministry of Education said it believes that video games contribute to higher levels of myopia in children. It seeks to combat this issue by limiting the number of online games approved for distribution across China. It is also looking to improve existing regulations regarding playtime and perhaps introduce an age-based rating system like the ESRB.
Tencent plans to increase its real-name requirement in its other games gradually.