After a spate of incidents across China, Tencent – the parent company behind League of Legends – is set to impose restrictions on its games. The changes will govern the amount of daily playtime available to under-18s.
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Tencent say its limitations will allow under-12s one hour of playtime per day, increasing to two hours for 12-to-18 year olds. Children under 12 will also be locked out of the game if they attempt to log on past 9pm, and restrictions will impact the amount of money they can spend on the game.
The changes will be rolled out to Tencent’s mobile game, Honour of Kings, in the first instance. Honour of Kings is the top-grossing mobile game, with revenues of $867 million in the first quarter of this year. But the company has stated that it will be looking to make improvements to the rest of the 200 games in its portfolio, a list which includes popular MOBA League of Legends.
The move from Tencent comes after a 17-year-old boy suffered a stroke after playing Honour of Kings for 40 hours straight. In a separate incident, a 13 year old broke both legs jumping from a third-storey window after his parents stopped him from playing.
A Tencent spokesperson wrote: “”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.”
While the move may prove popular among parents, shareholders appear less impressed. Tencent’s share value closed down more than 4% yesterday, their biggest market fall in nearly two years.