BEIJING, October 5 (TMTPOST)— Honor of Kings shattered a record again. As of the end of August 2021, the game, known as Arena of Valor in the West, grossed more than $10 billion in total to date, becoming the top grossing mobile game across the worldwide App Store and Google Play as well as the first mobile game with revenue surpassing $10 billion, according to the mobile app store market intelligence firm Sensor Tower.
In the first eight months of this year alone, Honor of Kings earned more than $2 billion, about one fifth of the revenue it accumulated since its release in 2015. The earning is well more than Supercell’s Brawl Stars, the No.2 mobile game by player spending with more than $320 million in the same period.
Sensor Tower also found the latest high-profile mobile MOBA (Multiplayer Online Battle Arena) came to Pokémon Unite, a launch co-developed by the Pokémon brand’s Japanese owner The Pokémon Company and Tencent’s TiMi Studio, the team behind Honor of Kings. Pokémon Unite had more than 15 million installs in the first two days of the released on September 22, making it the biggest MOBA launch ever, and its worldwide downloads in the first week hit about 30 million.
The data showed a significant achievement for Honor of Kings in a tightening regulatory environment in Tencent’s home market where the game dominants as the hottest MOBA.
China’s state media the Economic Information Daily slapped the online game in an article released the early August with terms such as “spiritual opium” and underlined experts’ call on more regulation, though the “spiritual opium” term was removed on the media’s site later. The article, in particular, labeled Honor of Kings as the most popular online game among younger players for 47.59% of middle school students in a recent survey in Luzhou, a city in southwestern Chinese province Sichuan, said they are the game’s regular players. Soon after the criticism, Tencent that month announced stricter policies to protect children from gaming addiction. It shortened amount of time minors can play online games each day from 3 hours to 2 hours on festivals and holidays and the screen time in non-holiday reduced from 1.5 hours to 1 hour. Children under 12 years old are banned from spending in Tencent’s games.
About a month later, China launched new regulations on online game. In the beginning of September, Chinese online gaming firms started imposing new time limits for minors who play video game. Young gamers under age 18 can only play games one hour in the evening on Fridays, weekends and public holidays. Multiple regulators including the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) summoned Tencent, NetEase and other major online gaming businesses and platforms and underlined observing recent rules and regulations to implement time limits on gaming for minors. Moreover, the State Council of China in late September called for the implementation of a national digital ID system for minors to prevent unauthorized access to online gaming by minors.