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Tencent to Release Flagship Game ‘Honor of Kings’ Globally

The Shenzhen-based company’s multiplayer action game, which has more than 95% of its users in China, raked in $10 billion in revenue between 2015 and September 2021

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A child plays the “Honor of Kings” game at home in Dezhou, Shandong province. Photo: Reuters.


The Chinese internet giant Tencent Holdings plans to release its flagship mobile title “Honor of Kings” globally by the end of the year as Beijing’s videogame crackdown forces it to pivot to the international gaming market.

The Shenzhen-based company’s multiplayer action game, which has more than 95% of its users in China, has been consistently its most profitable, raking in $10 billion in revenue between its 2015 launch and September last year, according to data firm Sensor Tower.

Tencent’s international launch of the top-grossing game reflects the company’s focus on expanding globally because the domestic market has become fiercely competitive and bruised by a harsh regulatory crackdown.

China’s gaming regulator has not granted any new game licences to Tencent in China since last June. The latest batch of 60 game licences issued on Tuesday did not include Tencent, which is the world’s largest gaming company.

Tencent in May reported that its domestic revenue dropped 1% in the first quarter while international revenue rose 4%.

“Honor of Kings” ranked as the world’s top-grossing game in April with more than $274 million in player spending, up 6.2% from a year earlier, according to Sensor Tower.

In 2016 the company launched an international adaptation called “Arena of Valor” that was not a major success, but this time it will release the same game played in China.

The international version will be launched under Tencent’s new Singapore-based brand Level Infinite, which was formed last year to help Tencent release games outside China.


  • Reuters, with additional editing by George Russell




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George Russell

George Russell is a freelance writer and editor based in Hong Kong who has lived in Asia since 1996. His work has been published in the Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, New York Post, Variety, Forbes and the South China Morning Post.


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