Tencent’s Honor of Kings Ready to Bear More Social Responsibilities
摘要： Being so popular a game in China, Honor of Kings has no choice but bear more social responsibilities, from restricting young players from overplaying to introducing traditional Chinese culture in a more interesting and acceptable manner.
Inconsistence with historical facts once incited huge criticism against Honor of Kings. For example, “Jin Ke”, the great assassin in the Warring States period, is a female character in the game, while Li Po, the renowned poet in the Tang dynasty, was also characterized as an assassin.
There’s nothing wrong for electronic games to adapt historic figures a little bit to cater to the aesthetics of contemporary game players. However, being so popular a game in China, it has no choice but bear more social responsibilities. This is also why Tencent recently stipulated that players under the age of 12 would be able to play as much as one hour per day and announced that it would gradually roll out “three limits” step by step: 1) players under the age of 12 will be forbidden to log onto the game after 9:00 PM; 2) parents will be able to force their kids to log out the game through one simple click; 3) players will be required to register the game with their real IDs.
On the last day of July, Ji Zefeng, vice president of Tencent TiMi Studio Group (the very producer of Honor of Kings), told TMTPost that they planned to subscribe to the 1,000-meter-long renovation project of the Great Wall, open a “The Great Wall Renovation & Interaction Platform” and allow users to get involved with simple click of buttons. In addition, they planned to pass on the idea to “protect the Great Wall” by launching new heroes (The Great Wall Warriors series) and publicizing the idea via various channels, including WeChat Official Accounts and various video platforms.
For sure, integrating the idea to “protect the Great Wall” in games will be able to improve players’ awareness and enhance their understanding of China’s history in a more acceptable manner. After all, few young Chinese would bother to find the back stories of ancient heroes by reading history books.
At the beginning of July, Honor of Kings officially debuted two new heroes and heroines (The Great Wall Warriors series), including Mulan (based on a girl who pretended to be a man so that she could serve in the military instead of her father) and Kai (an original hero). At present, Tencent is still busy making three other heroes, including Wang Xuance (based on a Tang dynasty hero who was said to conquer the Harsha Empire in North India), Pei Shouyue and Sulie (based on an anti-bandit militarist in late Sui dynasty).
“It often took us at least half a year to make a new hero/heroine. We’ve already debuted Kai and Mulan, and our next hero will come out in August. Comparatively speaking, it’s easier to make the Minions. To better spread the idea of “Protecting the Great Wall”, we decided to debut heroes/heroines and the Minions at the same time. Currently, we are still working on an appropriate integration plan,” Ji told TMTPost.
With the launch of Strike of Kings (the English version of Honor of Kings) and Legend Challenge (the Taiwanese version of Honor of Kings) together with Garena, Tencent has already sped up the process to spread the game beyond mainland China. However, the biggest challenge for Tencent is how to convince overseas game players of the world view and cultural elements in a Chinese game.
An insider from Tencent revealed that Tencent was trying to integrate even more traditional Chinese cultural and historic elements into the game, and that “The Great Wall series” is a perfect example. Perhaps, it seems that traditional Chinese aesthetics and humane spirit are indispensable parts of “Honor of Kings’ unique world view”.
At the same time, Tencent Interactive Entertainment (the very owner of Tencent Game) is busy exploring the potential of IP incubation and creation. Guan Chengwu, vice president of Tencent Group and CEO of Tencent Film, also introduced some quite eye-refreshing minions, called “The Great Wall Minions”, at the release conference.
While the minion with a surfboard in the hand stands for Shanhai Pass (the First Pass Under Heaven), the minion with the red pony tail stands for the Niangzi Pass (the Ninth Pass Under Heaven). As to the minion with a roll of paper, Tencent didn’t provide any specific background information. Perhaps, it is also a “man of stories”.
Next, Tencent shall introduce these IPs to players through WeChat Official Account and WeChat Mini Program, introduce the story of the Great Wall in a more interesting manner and get players involved in the protection and renovation of the Great Wall more easily.
For example, players could walk over 6,000 steps a day, donate these steps and renovate a brick. Previously, Tencent had similar functions in WeChat Sports, where WeChat users could donate their steps every day for charitable purposes. Indeed, Tencent has been actively trying to integrate gaming culture with social networking elements.
[The article is published and edited with authorization from the author @Zhu Taowei. Please note the source and hyperlink when reproduce.]
Translated by Levin Feng (Senior Translator at PAGE TO PAGE), working for TMTpost.