Honour of Kings looks for more glory in western mobile game markets
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Honour of Kings looks for more glory in western mobile game markets

Honour of Kings is the world’s most popular mobile MOBA (multiplayer online battle arena) game – and that’s despite the fact that it’s yet to become available in the west! To understand how popular Honour of Kings is, consider the following: the app has over 200 million monthly players worldwide, with tens of million of Chinese playing every day. Beijing has even issued warnings about the game’s addictiveness through state-owned media. Now, Honour of Kings’ owner, Chinese internet giant and mobile gaming kingpin Tencent, wants to see how its title performs in the west.

Tencent’s share price has risen by an incredible 120% over the last 12 

graph 0103 tencent

SOURCE: Yahoo Finance

Arena of Valour, a revamped version of the game for western audiences, went live in America earlier this month. It will debut in Europe in August. Download figures haven’t been released for its American entrance, but observers have noted that it took top spot on the download charts for iTunes role playing games category.

According to experts, the reason the game is so popular is that it combines the strategy, narrative, and experience you get from a “traditional” (i.e.: serious) video game with the kind of ease of use that means “literally anybody can play” (that quote comes courtesy of Drew Miller, a professional Arena of Valour player).

The game is simple, and matches – where teams of five, each having their own powers, compete to destroy each other’s bases – take between 15 and 20 minutes. Miller plays professionally, but it doesn’t take that kind of dedication to master the game – he describes it as “the only MOBA game I would ever consider trying to play with my mom.

It remains to be seen whether this mix of attributes will prove as captivating to western audiences as it has to the Chinese. However, the company is making sensible alterations in line with what it expects to play well over here. For one thing, a number of the characters inspired by Chinese mythology have been replaced by superheroes like Batman and Wonder Woman.

If Tencet’s got it right, the benefits could be huge: in the west, there has yet to be a “casual” mobile game that has also inspired “serious” gamers to pick up their iPhones. Who knows how much it could be worth?


Dominion holds Tencent in its Global Trends Ecommerce Fund.

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