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Wangzhe Rongyao (Chinese: 王者荣耀; pinyin: Wángzhě Róngyào, variably known in English unofficial translations as Honor of Kings, King of Glory, Kings of Glory, or Honour of King, and alternatively transliterated as Wang Zhe Rong Yao) is a multiplayer online battle arena developed and published by Tencent Games for the iOS and Android mobile platforms, exclusively for the Chinese market. By 2017, Wangzhe Rongyao has had over 80 million daily active players and 200 million monthly active players, and was both the world's most popular and highest-grossing game of all time as well as the most downloaded app globally. The game's international version has been released in 2017 as Arena of Valor, featuring different content.
|Genre(s)||Multiplayer online battle arena|
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The Chinese version of the game requires either a Tencent QQ account or a WeChat account. Other versions of the game can be played as a guest, which can later be linked to a Facebook account. The Garena AOV versions of the game (published by Garena) require either a Garena or a Facebook account. However the servers are not completely in sync. If using the same account type on different platforms, multiplayer with your WeChat friends is possible, however many functions in game are disabled (daily gifting, profile viewing and clan inviting). Different account types cannot access the other's matchmaking queue, even on the same platform.
In 2015, Tencent approached Riot Games and asked them to turn their popular game League of Legends into a mobile title. However, Riot declined and claimed that League of Legends's gameplay could not be replicated on smartphones. Tencent then preceded to create their own mobile game, Wangzhe Rongyao, roughly translated to English as Honor of Kings.
The game received a beta release for iOS and Android platforms on November 26, 2015. In addition to a player versus environment (PvE) parkour mode, running mode, the game features player versus player (PvP) multiplayer battles. The game features many similarities to League of Legends. In November 2016, Wangzhe Rongyao topped the 2016 China pan entertainment festival "China IP index value list - game list top 10".
In 2016, the game had more than 50 million daily active users and more than 200 million registered users. The game grossed ¥10.4 billion ($1.61 billion) in the last quarter of 2016. In May 2017, it became the highest-grossing mobile game in the world. It had 160 million monthly active users. In May 2017, entertainer Lu Han was named ambassador of the game.
According to an analyst at BOC International, Wangzhe Rongyao will contribute about 50% of the Tencent's mobile gaming revenues in 2017 and it made about 3 billion Yuan in gross revenue in April 2017 ($435 million). In June 2017, the analysis company APP Annie reported that Wangzhe Rongyao was the number 1 mobile game (excluding Android games) in the world in terms of income generation, with first quarter revenue of the game reaching $1.76 billion. A hero skin of Zhao Yun also had sold for $22 million in one day. At the time, Tencent reported 200 million registered users with 50 million daily active users. The game grossed $911 million in the second quarter of 2017. Between the last quarter of 2016 and the second quarter of 2017, the game grossed $4.281 billion.
In September 2017, Nintendo announced a deal with Tencent to bring Wangzhe Rongyao to the Nintendo Switch as Arena of Valor for international markets. As the console is not yet officially available in mainland China at this point in time, analysts anticipated that to support this deal, Nintendo would have to release the console in China by 2019. Tencent is yet to comment in regards to a global release, even after public scrutiny.
A soundtrack album was released on 28 October 2015. The extended soundtrack released in year two includes every special event soundtrack since the game's release. Multiple score composers collaborated the album including Howard Shore, Thomas Parisch and Marcin Przybylowicz.
On July 4, 2017, it was reported that the game owner’s Tencent had suffered a loss of $14 billion, or 4.1%, on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange after the People’s Daily criticized Wangzhe Rongyao as “poison” for young people, calling the content “a twist of values and historical views” and addictive. Variety dubbed the two critical articles a “demonstration of the power of China’s state-run media and propaganda machine.” Wangzhe Rongyao producer Lin Min afterwards noted online that the game’s design “fully complied with government requirements” and argued that “just like other forms of entertainment, games can be [a non-addictive] part of our normal daily lives.”
In July 2017, Wangzhe Rongyao started limiting children under the age of 12 to one hour of play time per day. Children aged 12 to 18 will be limited to two hours game time per day. Players under 12 will also be banned from playing the game after 9pm. It is believed that rising concerns over excessive gaming habits in children led Tencent, the game owner, to self-impose these restrictions.
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