How did Tencent’s Honor of Kings get 100 million daily active users?

The Electronics delves deeper to understand how a game that is only available in China has an impact worldwide

Tencent’s flagship mobile game Honor of Kings claims to be recording more than 100 million active users daily. This was announced at the game’s five-year anniversary celebrations.

Honor of Kings is a multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) mobile game owned by TiMi Studios and published by Tencent in 2015. It has risen through the ranks as one of the top grossing mobile games worldwide that generated a revenue of $64 million in the first week of October 2020, as reported by Sensor Tower.

Despite not having a worldwide presence, the game has been successful owing to China’s gaming market. Daniel Ahmad, a game analyst tweeted that China has more 600 million players and Honor of Kings has maintained its position in the market by targeting the mobile game players’ culture.

“TiMi focused on creating a MOBA that was tailored to the expectations of mobile players. This included shorter session lengths, touch friendly controls and automated systems. The game is great for beginners to the MOBA genre, but still requires skill to master,” tweeted Ahmad.

Honor of Kings consistently provided updates to the game to keep the outlook and design fresh and exciting for its users. Tencent also utilised technological innovation like frame synchronisation, mobile hardware co-optimisation and anti-cheat system in their games to keep up the engagement.

Ahmad elaborated that the developer team used the cultural influence in China to target every kind of audience. It has integrated cultural, traditional and modern elements to please every set of players. This includes introducing skins in the game inspired by traditional art, or even modern influencers like Bruce Lee. The pan-entertainment strategy push with IP has featured the game across various entertainment sectors.

At the celebratory gala hosted by TiMi, the game developers announced two spin-offs of Honor of Kings named Code: Dawn and Code Departure.

“We are going to expand how players can interact with the Honor of Kings world and create a multi-dimensional brand experience that drives engagement both inside the game and outside it. This could include anime, films, music and even live action series,” Li Min, game director and general manager of Tencent’s TiMi Studios, told Reuters.

Honor of King’s overseas edition Arena of Valor has not seen much popularity in Asia. Currently, Tencent-acquired Riot Games is set to test the waters with the mobile version of League of Legends — Wild Rift. The analyst thinks that TiMi’s capability to penetrate the Chinese and global market is a learning ground for game creators in the West.


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