Tencent blocked a competitor from streaming China's biggest game
Honor of Kings, known as Arena of Valor in the West, is huge in China
Right now, gamers in China can watch people play Honor of Kings (known as Arena of Valor outside the country) on a lot of game streaming platforms. But a court ruling suggests that may change soon.
Guangzhou Intellectual Property Court ruled that Xigua Video -- a live streaming app made by Bytedance -- should stop hosting live streaming videos of Honor of Kings, because it’s not authorized by the game’s maker, Tencent, state media Legal Daily reported.
But the court did not say that Xigua couldn’t host any Honor of Kings streams. In fact, it specifically says that there’s nothing wrong with individual users doing so.
Instead, the ruling targets Xigua’s strategy of recruiting Honor of Kings streamers. The court says that the company has been bringing streamers to its platform and taking a cut of their income -- an act which the court says hurt Tencent’s rights.
This might also have something to do with the fact that Tencent has a stake in two of China’s biggest streaming platforms, Huya and Douyu. Game streaming is big business in China, with more than 200 million users in the country, so maybe it’s not surprising that Tencent wants to make sure that only its platforms can benefit from its biggest game.
Still, Xigua is playing it safe: It’s removed Honor of Kings from its list of games, and the only three live streaming rooms we could find when searching for it were for the international version, Arena of Valor.
It’ll be interesting to see where this goes from here, and whether Tencent uses the court’s ruling to go for other games. One of the other big games we saw on Xigua? PUBG Mobile, developed and published by Tencent.