Tencent’s hit mobile strategy game Honor of Kings is proving to be a little too popular in China. This weekend, the company announced plans to introduce new contracts in the game that would let kids and parents negotiate terms for playtime. “With the proposed feature, children can exchange their playing time by doing housework or reaching certain [academic] scores,” Tencent chief executive Ma Huateng said at a press conference, as reported by TheWall Street Journal.
First launched in China in 2015, Honor of Kings has an estimated 200 million monthly players, making it among the most popular games in the world. But it has also come under fire in its home country for its addictive properties, and Tencent previously introduced restrictions to keep children under 12 from playing more than an hour a day. This, in turn, led to a surge in fake online IDs, as kids tried to get around the new restriction.
The game has been so successful that it has led to a number of urban legends, including the story of a woman going blind from playing too much. The Chinese military has also reportedly been worried 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 kids from focusing exclusively on the game — Tencent also says that it will be introducing new educational titles aimed at teaching kids math and science through games.
Meanwhile, late last year, Tencent began rolling out Honor of Kings outside of China, under the new name Arena of Valor. The game is currently available on iOS and Android, and a Nintendo Switch version is also in the works.