Wednesday, July 05, 2017

Chinese Developer Limiting Game Time for Kids

Because this would only happen in China, Tencent Holdings, one of the largest video game firms in the world (based on revenue) has announced a new initiative to help reduce game time for children using their products. Their game Honor of Kings, currently nets 200 million players. Responding to concerns from local parents and teachers, the company has decided to put a curfew on their game. When you sign up for the game, you have to provide your birthday. If you are under the age of 12, the game will restrict your play time to 1 hour a day. If you are age 12-18, the time is upped to 2 hours.

This is a pretty bold move for a gaming company. It's estimated that more then half of the game's users are under the age of 21, so this will have a big impact on their earnings. Or, because kids will only have 1-2 hours to play, will be more inclined to spend money for in-game upgrades to get their fill fast. It's hard to say for certain what will happen.

On their social media account, Tencent Holdings stated: “There are no rules to prevent indulgence in mobile games in China, but we decided to be the first to try to dispel parental worries by limiting play time and forcing children to log off."

Again, strong move. But it's also sending a negative message to parents and educators that they don't need to be the ones taking care of their children. Just let the game companies do it for you. We'll police how much time your kids play and what they see, since you all can't spare a second to do it yourselves.

Will Tencent Holdings maintain this new position and expand to their other games? Quarterly earnings will determine what happens next.

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