China's Tencent will soon require players to show their ages and identities against police records, according to a new official statement yesterday. Under the new system, users must register their Chinese National ID to play games from Tencent.
Ten mobile games will receive the new verification system at the end of the year and all games offered by Tencent, including PlayerUnknown's Battlefields and Legends league, will receive the system by 2019.
Tencent has been criticized by state-run People's Daily, called Arena of Valor "Married", after reports that students dictated their homework to play the mobile game. Valor's arena Appeals were obvious while I was in China; I witnessed young people at restaurants that played fiercely while their friends and dates looked sad.
Tencent has also met direct pressure in the summer, after President Xi Jinping pointed out that too many children were close-sighted and said government took action. Beijing officially decided to ban new games and cement an unofficial break that started back in March and cost Tencent up to $ 1.5 billion in lost revenue because it could not start games as it had evolved.
Tencent launched the new verification system in September Arena of Valor and created a blur on the screen if minors look too close to it. The new system only enforces rules that Tencent had in place since last year: excludes players 12 years and younger than playing for more than one hour a day and setting a curfew at 9:00. Those who are 13 to 18 can play up to two hours a day. However, the system does not prevent minors from borrowing their parents and other adults' phones.
While Tencent has taken action to combat abuse of video games earlier, today's message is the biggest restriction ever. China has almost 600 million mobile players, and as the country's largest technology company, Tencent offers nearly 100 mobile titles and dozens of computer content. That means Tencent may need to check hundreds of millions of players with their new system.
The company, which owns WeChat and is a major shareholder in Spotify and Snapchat, comes the bulk of its revenue from the gaming industry. Stock prices have fallen almost 40 percent this year. Tencent was not immediately available for comment.