The PC gaming market is getting bigger and bigger, and one of the most popular gaming genres–that being MOBAs, are not done yet (even if the biggest MOBA of them all–League of Legends, came out in 2009). Now, LoL has hundreds of heroes, and millions of players with millions awarded in prize money. Games like Dota 2, Smite, and Heroes of the Storm dominate Twitch viewership with thousands of viewers around the clock.
Now in 2017, developers are finalizing apps that copy many elements of LoL and turning them into games that mirror the addictive and satisfying competitive element of what makes LoL so fun in the first place. One of these games, is killing it in China–that being Strike of Kings. It’s a mobile game that is getting a very large user base due to competitive mechanics and good hero design. While I find fault with the way you purchase new heroes (with real money) I still think it’s the best moba for iPad, iPhone, Android, and mobile in general.
However, Strike of Kings, while successful with over 200 million users reported by company Tencent, might be in over its head. The reason being that too many kids and users are playing the game, and if we know anything about China, it’s that it likes controlling how the internet is used–whether for fun, information, or critiques about the government.
Now, the Chinese government is threatening to crackdown on the game, banning it, or forcing severe restrictions. Tencent has already placed restrictions on under-age users forcing limits on playtime, but the Chinese government is not satisfied.
“The Honor of Kings phenomenon reveals the pain points of our fast growing but unregulated gaming industry,” Xinhua, a Chinese owned news agency wrote. “Related government departments should not only be helping it grow but holding up a whip to ensure order.”
You might be thinking that the Chinese are going overboard, or if you’re in China, you might not understand the issue. The reason being is that just like elsewhere in the world, kids are playing video games and some extreme examples manage to get media attention which gives games a horrible negative stigma. The Beijing news in China reported about a kid who jumped off a building since a character in the game can fly.
Other reasons like the conservative attitude of parenting in China could be an influence. Whatever, the case, China seems intent on breaking and severely limiting online gaming due to addiction problems. In 2008, China acknowledged “gaming addiction” as a clinical disorder, and there are many boot camps dedicated to helping kids with gaming addictions.
Zhu Wei, a deputy director of the Communications Law Research Center at the China University of Political Science and Law in Beijing writes that ““China’s regulation of online games will definitely become tighter and tighter, and by criticizing Honor of Kings, Beijing wants all gaming companies to shoulder extra cost for the social impact they may incur.”
However, despite the government’s past involvement with gaming addiction and their attempts to stifle video games by banning consoles and various online websites, users are still getting access to video games by purchasing fake identity cards or using vendors that unlock services like Honor of Kings for very cheap.
While Honor of Kings is not blocked yet in China, as of 2017, it very well might be soon. If you cannot access the website, or download the app from the Chinese app store, you will need to use a VPN to do so. For this I would recommend TorGuard, since it’s our top rated Chinese VPN.