You’ll need to prove your age to play a Tencent game in China next year
Play PUBG Mobile, NBA 2K Online, or League of Legends in China? Next year, you’ll have to let Tencent check your national ID against police records if you want to keep on playing.
The company has announced on a WeChat post that it plans to make verifications mandatory for every single game in its library -- both on mobile and PC. It’s an extension to the policy it introduced in September to its mobile blockbuster Honor of Kings (known as Arena of Valor outside of China), aimed at screening out minors and limiting their play time.
As China’ biggest gaming company, Tencent has an enormous portfolio. On iOS alone, it offers almost 100 mobile games covering nearly all the major genres, from battle royale and first person shooters to chess and card games. That’s in addition to dozens of other PC titles including familiar names like CrossFire and FIFA Online 3.
But Tencent has been under pressure for months now, after state media and government agencies criticized it for contributing to gaming addiction. Last month, the company announced it’s experimenting with facial recognition to verify players in Honor of Kings.
Even President Xi Jinping waded in, complaining that too many children are wearing glasses. In response, Tencent launched an “eye protection” feature on its video app that blurs images when children look too closely at the screen.
“Tencent won’t stop upgrading its health system. In the future, we will look into adding more features and try applying more cutting-edge technologies,” the company wrote in its WeChat post on Monday.