Starting Saturday, Sept. 15, “Honour of Kings” players have to use their real names when registering and logging into the game so its publisher, Tencent, can track their playtime, according to Reuters.
“Through these measures, Tencent hopes to continue to better guide underaged players to game sensibly,” the company said in a statement on its official WeChat account.
“Honour of Kings” is known as “Arena of Valor” in the West. It’s a popular multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) game similar to “DOTA 2” or “League of Legends.” It’s currently the top-grossing mobile game in China.
The new registration system is the first of its kind in the Chinese gaming industry, Reuters said. It will link to the country’s public security database and identify underaged players. The Chinese government believes gaming addiction is a problem in the country and it places restrictions on the amount of time minors can play. Currently, Tencent only allows children under 12 to play its games for one hour per day, while children between the ages of 13 and 18 can play for up to two hours.
Last week, China’s Ministry of Education said it believes video games are leading to higher rates of myopia among children. It wants to address the problem by restricting the number of new online games approved for distribution in the country. It also wants to strengthen current playtime regulations and possibly implement an age-ratings system similar to the ESRB.
Tencent said it plans to gradually expand its new real-name requirement to its other games.