China’s biggest game publisher Tencent will take down 32 of its games in 2019 as they have failed to incorporate the company’s dubbed “Healthy Gameplay System” aimed at preventing addiction in youngsters, due to technical reasons, the entertainment conglomerate said yesterday in its WeChat official account.
“Tencent would stop running these games and will take them down as they can’t embed the Healthy Gameplay System without hesitation — even if they’re contributing to revenues,” according to Tencent’s post, which was published on December 18, after a session about “Underage Protection” at the 2019 China Game Industry Annual Conference.
The game publisher has been working to meet the Chinese government regulations over gaming addiction for youngsters. According to the new regulations effective from last November, users under 18 can only play online games for no more than 90 minutes a day, except for public holidays, during which they’re eligible for a maximum of 3-hour’s gameplay. Mobile gamers also have to register with a valid ID before playing a game, KrAsia reported.
So far, Tencent’s gameplay system has been embedded into 116 mobile games and 31 desktop games, covering 98% of Tencent Game’s active users, said the Shenzhen-based company.
The company, the world’s top-grossing publisher by revenue, has long been under fire in its home country for Honor of Kings, its blockbuster mobile game, extremely popular among teenagers and kids—20% of its users were born after 2000—as state media People’s Daily has accused it of being “poisoning” and “addictive”.
“After including police’s real ID registration feature into Honor of Kings, game-play time for players under age 13 has decreased for 59.8%, while contracted 40.3% for players age between 13 to 18,” said Tencent in the latest post.
Earlier this week on December 15th, Tencent agreed to refund RMB 13,000 (USD 1,854) to the parents of a 9-year-old kid who spent thousands of RMBs on the Multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) game using the mother’s account without their consent.
Throughout the years, Tencent has been developing its own underage protection system. The system bans users under age 13 to play any Tencent games between 9 pm and 8 am, and underage players are also limited to one-hour or two-hour game-play each day depending on whether they are above 13-year-old.
Tencent’s new parental control platform, which allows parents to see and monitor their kids’ game-play time, has earned more than 20 million users.
Currently, Tencent Mobile Games has 259 apps listed on the iOS Store, including big titles like Peacekeeper Elite, China’s version of PUBG Mobile, according to SensorTower data.
Online gaming accounts for 31% of the company’s revenue, as the Hong Kong-listed tech giant revealed in its 2019 Q3 report.