Tencent dangles extra Honor of Kings game time carrot to kids who get good grades

New in-game contracts will let children negotiate play time with their parents

Tencent dangles extra Honor of Kings game time carrot to kids who get good grades

The popularity of Tencent’s hit MOBA Honor of Kings (Arena of Valor) is providing a bit of a conundrum in relation to how much time children are putting into the game in China.

The game’s vast popularity has landed Tencent in trouble before with parents and teachers complaining that kids were playing the game too much. The Chinese government also put pressure on the publisher, with the state-owned People's Daily newspaper going as far as calling the game ‘poison’.

In response, Tencent had limited gameplay to one hour a day for children under 12 and two hours a day for those aged 12 to 18, which reportedly led to a surge in the purchase of fake IDs online.

Good grades for good times

But now The Wall Street Journal  reports the Shenzhen-based company has proposed a solution to the ‘problem’ with new in-game contracts that will allow kids to negotiate terms for playtime with their parents.

“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 last weekend.

Honor of Kings has been a huge success since its original launch in China in 2015. It generated $1.9 billion in 2017 alone which also placed it on top of the leaderboards for mobile games revenue for the year, according to SuperData.

The game is said to draw in 50 million active daily users along with more than 200 million players in total.


Staff Writer

Iain is a freelance writer based in Scotland with a penchant for indies and all things Nintendo. Alongside PocketGamer.Biz, he has also appeared in Kotaku, Rock Paper Shotgun, PCGamesN and VG24/7.