Tencent Games’ blockbuster hit PUBG Mobile battle royale game has been in the news for all the wrong reasons recently. From teenagers committing suicide for not being bought high-end phones, to the police arresting youngsters for evading PUBG ban, the past few months haven’t been all that great for Tencent Games and PUBG Mobile fans.

Tencent recently introduced a ‘Healthy Gameplay System’ feature in PUBG Mobile. This feature was introduced to restrict PUBG Mobile players from playing the game for more than six hours in a single day. Notably, this move was seen as Tencent’s response to the Gujarat government banning the game and arresting players who evaded the ban.

In a statement, Tencent acknowledged that it is working on this feature:

“PUBG Mobile is a game. It is meant merely for entertainment and should be enjoyed in a healthy and responsible manner. In consonance with our endeavour to continue promoting responsible gaming experience, we are working on the introduction of a healthy gameplay system in India to promote balanced, responsible gaming, including limiting play time for under-aged players.”

While game addiction can become a serious issue if left unchecked, many argued that it is not the government’s or game developers’ place to decide how long should gamers play. With that being said, this is not new for Tencent given that it has been forced to work on similar time limit feature in China as well.

Things seemed to have gone wrong when Tencent developers implemented this feature. According to several reports, players were being banned from the game after just two hours of playtime. This seems to have pushed the developers to remove the time limit altogether, but this might just be temporary.

In a tweet, PUBG Mobile India apologised for the trouble caused by the time limit feature, saying – “Basis feedback from the community, we have now changed the Birthday Crate. The Healthy Gameplay System error has also been fixed, and you should be able to play uninterrupted. Lastly, payment systems are back up and running. We deeply apologize for the inconvenience.”

However, given how Tencent has implemented anti-addiction features in several of its games in China, the removal of time limits in India might just be a temporary thing. Tencent’s anti-addiction implementation in China include the use of ID proofs for real name identity verification, facial recognition and age limits.

These features have been implemented in PUBG Mobile as well. While Tencent’s initial introduction of Healthy Gameplay System in PUBG Mobile in India seems to have been bug-ridden, it is expected that the company will roll it out when the time limit issues have been addressed properly. The only thing that is not known yet is when these limits will be reintroduced.

However, given the absence of a regulator to demand the implementation of these features, Tencent might stop short of requiring ID proof or age-based time limit slabs in India.





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