Tencent trials facial recognition for age-checking

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Chinese giant Tencent has introduced facial recognition as a means of checking the ages of gamers playing Honour of Kings. 

The innovative (some would say obtrusive)  means of providing an age-gate has been in operation since September 29 for players of the mobile game in China. In addition, Honour of Kings features a system limiting play-time for youngsters and a requirement for real names to be used in the game. 

Recently, as reported by Reuters, Tencent posted its worst ever results (which, admittedly, still involved making a healthy profit). They wiped a whopping $15 billion off the company’s valuation.

Tencent president Martin Lau blamed the worse-than-expected figures on  the regulatory  limbo which is currently afflicting games publishers in China: the company is awaiting government approval to charge for playing PUBG and Monster Hunter World, which it publishes in China. Lau said: “The gaming fundamental is actually as strong as it has been. The only problem that we have is that one of our biggest games, PUBG Mobile, is not monetizing. This is something which is a little bit out of (our) control.” 

Currently, the Chinese government has put a freeze on awarding publishers licences to sell new games. Twitch is currently blocked in China, and Nintendo’s new Online service isn’t functioning there, as it uses Google servers which are also blocked in the country. These are clearly tough times for gamers in China.