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Tencent, the Chinese publisher behind PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, is testing facial recognition ID technology in one of its smartphone titles. The entertainment corporation has come in for heavy criticism for how children have become addicted to a game called Honor of Kings. The smartphone game’s software is now able to determine the age of its players, and is seen as another move to halt the rising number of kids spending the majority of their time online.
The news comes courtesy of the BBC, who have reported that the technology was implemented by Tencent over the weekend. The trial run is being limited to thousands of users for now, but may be scaled up depending on how successful it is. The Tencent facial ID technology software is seen as a way of discouraging youngsters from playing over their allotted time. Tencent, however, have failed to divulge how the technology will function. It plans to evaluate how the facial ID recognition works, before deciding whether to implement it nationally.
Honor of Kings has drawn widespread criticism in China for how addictive it is, particularly concerning children. The game, which is League of Legends-esque in its gameplay, has over 200 million registered users, according to Xinhuanet.com, and has targeted kids in recent times in an effort to build its brand. Reports have suggested that parents have taken extreme measures to cut their childrens’ time on the title, with some phones and tablets being destroyed to combat the issue.
Tencent introduced its own measure in July to combat the growing number of kids addicted to Honor of Kings. It brought in a limit that prevented 12-year-olds from spending more than an hour playing the game, and 13 to 18-year-olds to a maximum of two hours. A real-name registration system was also introduced in September to ensure players stick to the newly implemented rules.