Honor of Kings Among Decade’s Biggest Mobile Games

Honor of Kings 5v5 Map 2019 Update

Honor of Kings is undeniably one of Tencent Games' most successful games and biggest in the mobile MOBA genre. Honor of Kings is still kicking for four years despite the declining popularity of moba genre in general, new addictive games and popular PC games that have been adapted into the mobile platforms like PUBG Mobile. The player base is also declining dramatically because of these changes in the mobile games landscape and probably one of the biggest factors, at least in Mainland China is the real-name identification process. Despite all of these changes, Honor of Kings remains Tencent's biggest contributor to its revenue. This year alone, the game generated almost US$2 billion.

Image: wanplus  Honor of Kings KPL(King Pro League) Tournament  in China

Global Release
In 2016, Tencent releases an international version of the game called Arena of Valor with reskin heroes and different map styles. Tencent also team-up with DC to release heroes based on Superman, Batman, The Joker, Wonder Woman, and The Flash. Although they made all these changes to appeal more to a global audience, the result is not as overwhelmingly positive as the Mainland Chinese version. The game also faced several conflicts in other regions and stiff competition with Moonton's Mobile Legends: Bang Bang. Despite all the hiccups, AOV is still enjoying popularity in Thailand, Taiwan, and Southeast Asian's biggest game market Vietnam. AOV was released in other regions by using different titles like Realm of Valor/ROV(Thailand), Penta Storm(S. Korea), Liên Quân Mobile/Mobile Arena (Vietnam) and Legendary Showdown in Non-Mainland Chinese region. Arena of Valor became a medal event during SEA Games 2019 in the Philippines.  

Arena of Valor AIC 2019 Tournament Promotional Poster

Arena of Valor 5v5 Map 3.0 2019 Update. Note: Both AOV and HOK map now share similarities

The game became a controversial topic because its too addictive to many especially to minors. There are reports like a woman loses her eyesight because of playing for days and many more issues. And in 2017, Honor of Kings imposed stricter measures to limit minors from playing too long. The implementation of real-name identification helps the game to impose a limit for minors for about 1 or 2 hours of gaming and limits of money-spending. Adults are also not excepted but not as strict as minors. A pop-up message will appear when you play too long reminding you to take a rest.

Honor of Kings gameplay

The implementation of real-name identification also became a slight problem for non-Mainland Chinese players of the game. Before, you can use fake Chinese ID to pass the identification process but after the game uses police data for verification, its now easy for them to determine fake ones. There are other options though especially players from Hong Kong SAR and neighboring countries. You can also use verified qq and WeChat accounts (like mine) and passport.   

Still the KING
Honor of Kings remains one of the biggest contributors to Tencent's revenue. In February 2019 alone, the game generated about US$ 1 billion according to Japanese financial firm Nomura after the release of Honor of Kings 2.0 in January 17, 2019. Overall, Honor of Kings generated almost US$2 billion this year. The game also ranks at number one on October 2019 SuperData Research Worldwide revenue record for Mobile Games. 90% of Honor of Kings revenue came from Mainland China and the remaining 10% came from the international version of the game Arena of Valor. 

Honor of Kings gameplay on HUAWEI Mate X
Decade’s Biggest Mobile Games
The success of Honor of Kings gains a position in App Annie's Decade’s Biggest Mobile Games by Revenue. Honor of Kings landed on the sixth spot. Since 2015, the game generated about US$5 billion.   

Source: App Annie

Honor of Kings after League of Legends: Wild Rift
2020 might change the fate of Honor of Kings in Mainland China. Riot Games, a subsidiary of Tencent Games is expected to release League of Legends: Wild Rift sometime around 2020 and China will be the first country to play the game. China has the biggest player based on both League of Legends and Honor of Kings and both games top SuperData Research October 2019 Revenue record for PC and Mobile respectively. But for now, let's hope that both games will bring so much fun to their respective player base.

League of Legends: Wild Rift