Tencent implements time limits to curb kids' gaming addictions

Honour of Kings players under 12 restricted to one hour per day, two for under 18s

Chinese games giant Tencent intends to calm parents' fears of gaming addictions by introducing time limits for younger players.

The firm has begun by implementing restrictions in mobile title Honour of Kings, one of its most popular games with 200m users.

Reuters reports that users aged 12 or younger will only be able to play the game for one hour per day, with this extending to two hours for those between 12 and 18 years old.

Tencent has also said it will lock under 12s out of the game if they attempt to log in after 9pm. It will even increase restrictions on how much money kids can spend in the game.

Honour of Kings will be the first title to impose these limits, but Tencent has also said it will make improvements to the rest of its portfolio, which encompasses more than 200 games.

Planned measures include an upgraded parental control platform, so parents will be able to monitor their children's gaming activities, and an increased requirement for users to register under their real names.

"There are no rules to prevent indulgence in online games in China, but we decided to be the first to try to dispel parent worries by limiting play time and forcing children to log off," a Tencent spokesperson wrote.

Mobile games in particular have been under scrutiny by parents for years - particularly those that easily allow in-app purchases, with countless reports of children racking up huge bills through microtransactions. With mobile very much the dominant games platform for kids around the world, not just in China, it's not unlikely we'll see more companies introduce similar measures to assuage fears that children are becoming addicted to such titles.

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