At the end of August, we noted that China was following through on its plan to set extreme limits on minors’ gaming time – limits that effectively ensured young gamers would be allowed to play games only between the hours of 8 and 9 p.m. on weekend evenings and public holidays. The move has apparently already caused a disturbance in at least one game, as Tencent’s Honor of Kings – better known as Arena of Valor on this side of the Pacific – crashed this weekend right at the magic hour.
The news comes from Niko Partners analyst Daniel Ahmad, who notes this was the first weekend following the implementation of the regulations. Apparently, Honor of Kings was unprepared for the deluge, but companies will need to get up to speed in a hurry.
“Honor of Kings, the most popular mobile game in China, had its servers crash on Saturday Sep 4. While no specific reason was given, the crash was likely due to a surge of younger players logging on between 8pm and 9pm, as per the new regulations that have just gone into effect. For reference, the new regulations limit minors to playing online games between 8pm and 9pm on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. (See our write up below). The Saturday crash was a trending topic on Weibo, and people had issues on Sunday too.”
Of course, if capitalism has anything to say about it, the cleverest folks with money to burn will just find ways around the rules – and apparently that’s already happening, as e-commerce websites are offering rental accounts for the equivalent of $2.50, all part of a “gray market for adult gaming accounts.”