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Tencent to limit game play for younger mobile gamers

04 July 2017

The fantasy role-playing game based on Chinese historical characters is the world's top-grossing game in terms of combined worldwide iOS and Google Play revenue in May this year.

Tencent touted its new rules, which also ban users under 12 from logging in after 9 p.m., as the "strongest anti-addiction measures ever" in the Chinese video gaming industry.

It will also step up the requirement of real-name registration for all users, it said.

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Parents have also talked about how much money these games are taking from them as kids sometimes use their parents' credit cards to pay for upgrades, new items and weapons, plus other features created to keep you playing for longer, which is a business model that has faced considerable scrutiny around the world. In just over a month, he spent 58,000 yuan ($8,500) buying virtual equipment in the game.

Regulatory control on such "social games" is imminently needed, the People's Daily said on its website on Tuesday, after calling the game "poison" on Monday, alluding to a similarly pronounced nickname in Chinese that players jokingly use to describe the addictive nature of the game.

Gu estimates the game, with 200 million users, contributes around 7 percent to Tencent's total revenue. He said he feels it's wrong to blame the game for causing addiction problems, suggesting parents need to shoulder more responsibility.

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Tencent did not immediately respond to a request for comment. "Tencent can't replace the role of parents", she said.

Older children are able to play its games for two hours a day. But "Honor of Kings" wasn't included.

Since February, parents can receive messages when children log in and spend money on the game after they connect children's game accounts with their mobile phone numbers.

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Tencent to limit game play for younger mobile gamers