Tencent says Honour of Kings becomes first game to average over 100mn daily users across any platform

Josh Ye
·3-min read

Chinese tech giant Tencent Holdings said its marquee mobile game Honour of Kings has become the first game in history across any platform to average more than 100 million daily active users.

At a live streamed event celebrating the fifth anniversary of Honour of Kings on Sunday night, Tencent’s TiMi Studio, the developer of the game, revealed that the game had averaged 100 million daily users for the first ten months of the year, which marks a new world record, according to the company.

Honour of Kings is a multiplayer game, wildly popular in China, where a team of five heroes go up against another team of five. TiMi Studio said the game will also be getting two spin-off games as well as two TV shows. While TiMi did not specify what genres the new games will cover, the trailers suggest one will be a horizontal side-scrolling action game.

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According to data from app tracking firms such as Sensor Tower and App Annie, Supercell once had four of its top games, including Clash of Clans, achieve over 100 million daily active users collectively, but no single game has averaged 100 million daily active users across a 10-month period.

According to Sensor Tower, Honour of Kings was the world’s most lucrative game in September after racking up US$240 million in sales, with 96 per cent of its revenue coming from China.

Epic Games has said that Fortnite, one of the most popular games in the West, has 350 million registered users. Data disclosed by Epic’s lawsuit against Apple earlier this year amid a revenue sharing dispute revealed that the game’s daily active user count across all platforms was around 25 million.

“TiMi has continually evolved Honour of Kings to meet the rising demand of players,” said Daniel Ahmad, senior analyst at Niko Partners. “The game has been at the top of China’s mobile game revenue charts since launch, showing the power and longevity of the intellectual property.”

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Honour of Kings’ achievement attests to China’s growing dominance in video games. Tencent, in particular, is the world’s biggest games developer by revenue, particularly strong in mobile games. However, new games such as miHoYo’s Genshin Impact and Riot’s League of Legends: Wild Rift will likely give Honour of Kings a run for its money going forward.

Genshin Impact made US$245 million in its first 30 days and it was on pace to dethrone Honour of Kings as the world’s most profitable mobile game in October.

League of Legends: Wild Rift may also likely steal some users from Honour of Kings. In fact, Honour of Kings was inspired by the PC version of League of Legends, and the two games have highly similar gameplay. But Wild Rift’s potential success will be a boon to Tencent as Riot Games has become a wholly owned subsidiary under Tencent since 2015.

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Filming is already under way for one of the upcoming TV shows named You’re My Honour. Starring famous Chinese Uygur actress Dilraba Dilmurat, the show appears to be a romantic comedy in which the protagonists met via playing Honour of Kings. The other TV show will be a 3D animated series focusing on the heroes featured by the game.

Video-game-inspired TV shows have achieved success in China. Most notably, e-sports TV show Crossfired, inspired by the video game with the same name, became one of this summer’s top web dramas, racking up more than 980 million views in less than four weeks.

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