A topic entitled “Honor of Kings has collapsed” topped the hot search list on Weibo, the Chinese equivalent of Twitter, on Saturday. Some players and netizens reported that the game had been unable to match, there were persistent loading signs appearing in the middle of the game, and that the game could not be continued.
In response, the official Honor of Kings account acknowledged that some players had entered abnormal ranked games, posting, “We are very sorry that the server was unstable, and we will update the processing progress for players on our official website and other official media platforms.”
As for the collapse of the popular game, some netizens speculated that it was related to the fact that regulatory authorities have recently restricted the time minors are allowed to play online games. Others pointed out that it was the first weekend after the autumn semester, so a large number of minors likely poured into the Honor of Kings online platform at the same time.
“The new rule is that minors can only log in to the game from 8:00 pm to 9:00 pm on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays every week. Primary school students who have been simmering for a week have poured into Honor of Kings, leading to a collapse of the server,” one Weibo netizen commented.
Previously, Chinese regulators issued a notice to take further strict management measures to prevent minors from overindulging in online games and effectively protect their physical and mental health.
According to the notice, the time for providing online game services to minors is now strictly limited. All online game enterprises can only provide one-hour services to minors from 8:00 pm to 9:00 pm on Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and legal holidays. Companies are not allowed to provide online game services to minors in any form at other times.
At the same time, the notice also requires government departments at all levels to supervise the implementation of the measures, and deal with online game enterprises that are not strictly following the notice according to laws and regulations.
Domestic tech giant Tencent has expressed its firm support for this. The company said it would make every effort to implement the relevant requirements of the notice as soon as possible, stating, “as a member of China’s game industry, Tencent has been consciously establishing and improving the anti-addiction measures for minors since 2017, and actively promoting the exploration of various new technologies and measures in this field. In the future, Tencent will pay more attention to and invest in the protection of minors based on the latest regulations of the authorities.”
In addition, Tencent previously published the game flow data of primary students playing Tencent’s games for the first time: As of the end of the second quarter of 2021, players under 16 years old accounted for 2.6% of the firm’s game flow in China, among which players under 12 years old accounted for 0.3%. Tencent said that it is committed to creating a healthy environment for the game industry.
Honor of Kings is a multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) game developed by TiMi Studio Group and published by Tencent games for the IOS and Android mobile platforms, targeting the Chinese market.