Under pressure from Chinese government, Tencent Holdings will expand an addiction-prevention system for underage gamers to all of its games.
The company on Monday said on its official WeChat account that a system that includes time limits on daily play and can perform facial recognition-aided ID checks, already in use on Tencent's most popular Honour of Kings smartphone game, will be applied to nine other mobile games this year and expanded to cover all Tencent games next year.
Tencent is trying to meet the Chinese government's call for tighter controls to combat gaming addiction and increasing near-sightedness among young people. A state announcement in August called for the publishing regulator to control the number of new online video games and to limit the amount of time young Chinese spend playing such games.
Tencent has added a real-name registration system for new gamers on its popular mobile battle game Honour of Kings. The game already has restrictions to playing time for children: Children aged 12 and under are allowed one hour a day on the game except for a curfew period of 9pm to 8am. Minors older than 12 can play for two hours a day. Tencent also tried out facial recognition-aided identity verification for new players in Beijing and Shenzhen in September. Since October, they have been verifying existing users' ID information and expects to complete the process by the end of this month.
Tencent is the world's largest gaming company by revenue, but need to comply with Chinese authorities rules in order to gain approval for its new games. The company is now allowed to offer in-app purchases, making it more difficult to capitalize on the huge success of its games.