Berita Game

Tencent’s most successful mobile game: the past, present and future of Honor of Kings

Honor of Kings launched five years ago but work on the game has never been finished. The developer of the game, Tencent Games’ TiMi Studios, has continued to roll out refinements on a regular basis, ultimately bringing together more solid IP settings, wider esport participation, more advanced game technology, and better representation of local culture and social responsibility.

To mark the game\\\’s fifth anniversary, Tencent Perspectives recently sat down with Honor of Kings team in TiMi Studios to find out why the game has become so beloved among players in China and what the future might have in store.

Q: Many games are released every year, but very few become as successful as Honor of Kings. What’s been the game’s secret to success?

A: None of us imagined the game becoming what it is today when we began development. We were very fortunate to get the timing right and capitalize on a couple of key trends:

China has the highest number of mobile Dunia users in the world. Without the rapid adoption of mobile phones along with widespread 4G connectivity, we would not have been able to make a mobile game with such high competitive demands.
The speedy popularity of Honor of Kings is also related to Chinese society. Chinese social culture could be quite introverted by the time Honor of Kings was launched, so Honor of Kings serves a social function by providing ways to socialize and meet new people. Understanding the unique characteristics of each new generation has always been an important issue for the entire game industry.
Technology and society will change. Our job as content makers remains the same. First, we have to provide players with a slot spaceman good emotional experience by shaping resonance with the game’s world. Second, we have to gather a team who share the same vision and interests, and let them continuously grow and excel in the areas of their expertise.
Q: Honor of Kings has gained popularity over the past five years, something I’m sure TiMi would like to achieve with other games in the future. Is there anything that can be taken from Honor of Kings and implemented in new games?

A: China is unique in the sense that the majority of players only use mobile phones to play games; their expectations and habits have been built up around mobile devices. We understand “mobile only” players well, which has enabled us to keep TiMi Sanggar at the forefront of high quality, high fidelity mobile game development. From just a technical standpoint, Honor of Kings was one of the first games in the world to make some important technical solutions for mobile game development, including bingkai synchronization, optimization for mobile networks, non synchronous coloring, bingkai synchronization recovery after disconnection, and other technologies to support mega systems for hundreds of millions of users. There were no prior examples to follow. We’re really proud that our developed technology solutions are being injected into our player-versus-player games and are helping speed up the development of new games.

Q: Honor of Kings is investing in esports events and top professional tournaments such as the KPL (King Pro League) and Honor of Kings World Championship Cup. This naturally attracts players’ attention, too. What do you see as the future of Honor of Kings in the realm of esports?

A: We believe that there are two prerequisites for esports success. First, it needs to be entertaining for viewers. In some cases, games may be extremely popular and beloved by players, but the game doesn’t translate well to the spectacle of esports tournaments. Secondly, the game needs to offer sophisticated strategies with varying degrees of depth for different levels, so that viewers can see how well the pros play.

Years ago, few people believed professional esports on mobile phones would ever be popular – but we had conviction from the beginning that Honor of Kings would work well for mobile esports. In fact, mobile esports still has a lot of untapped potential and could grow exponentially in the coming years. To give you an idea of how big it is already, Honor of Kings esports content was viewed 44 billion times in 2019. Of that, 24 billion views were of official professional tournaments, up nearly 41 percent year-over-year. This has really triggered a rethink in the industry about the potential success of mobile esports.

Of course, the foundations of esports games must be strong. We are striving to create wider and deeper esports infrastructure so eventually everybody can compete in Honor of Kings esports.

Q: What is the view overseas about Honor of Kings?

A: I am really happy to see so many players from around the world play Honor of Kings. We regularly speak with overseas game developers to share ideas and best practice. Sometimes, though, they don’t believe the numbers we provide about the popularity of Honor of Kings! They often think the numbers must be wrong because they are so big, often assuming that there’s an error in translation. They will repeatedly ask us to confirm, which we do.

Overseas developers know that China is a huge market, but they often fail to grasp exactly how big. The number of players is great for us, but also creates unique challenges. We often have to no precedent or case study to learn from.