Master blasters make money out of novice play­ers

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - BUSINESS - By OUYANG SHIJIA

It might be hard to believe, but novice play­ers are pay­ing money to master gamers to use their ac­counts to beat vet­eran com­peti­tors at Honor of Kings.

In a weird sub­cul­ture of China’s fa­vorite on­line game, they are pre­pared to part with hard cash just so they can boast about their suc­cess to friends.

This crazy busi­ness has even at­tracted new com­pa­nies ea­ger to cash in on the trend such as Qian­duo­duo Work­shop in Dong­guan, Guang­dong prov­ince.

Li Han quit his job as a fi­nan­cial ser­vice provider to set the com­pany up and is de­lighted he took the gam­ble.

“With the in­creas­ing num­ber of the gam­ing play­ers, we’ve got more cus­tomers than be­fore,” he said.

Li em­ploys 50 full-time and part-time staff at Qian­duo­duo Work­shop to play games on other play­ers’ ac­counts. Prices range from 95 yuan ($14) to 620 yuan, de­pend­ing on the level of op­po­nents and the ti me frame.

His com­pany op­er­ates eight hours a day, seven nights a week.

“Lack­ing the en­ergy or tech­nique to move on and play ex­pe­ri­ence gamers,

the num­ber of fans of

Hono­rofKings play­ers come to us to help them out by play­ing on their ac­counts,” Li, 25, said.

“They need our help to show off their abil­i­ties to their friends,” he added.

Honor of Kings is loosley based on Chi­nese his­tor­i­cal war­riors in a bat­tle of con­quest and is played by a group of play­ers at var­i­ous lev­els of ex­per­tise.

More than 200 mil­lion peo­ple are fans of the fan­tasy game, cre­ated by in­ter­net be­he­moth Ten­cent Hold­ings Ltd. “When­ever my team logs on, there are mil­lions of gamers play­ing it,” Li said.

Busi­ness is brisk for the Work­shop with rev­enue close to 100,000 yuan a month. Full-time em­ploy­ees are paid about 4,500 yuan while Li earns about 30,000 yuan a month.

“We even of­fer a life­long VIP ser­vice at the price of 58,888 yuan to en­sure a cus­tomer’s ac­count is at the high­est pos­si­ble level of Honor of Kings,” Li said.

Mo­bile gam­ing has be­come one of the most prof­itable emerg­ing in­dus-

tries in his­tory. Last year, the sec­tor was worth more than 80 bil­lion yuan.

In­deed, it is so big, the game has spawned a range of busi­nesses. These in­clude live stream­ing of games and tour­na­ments, on­line TV pro­grams about Honor of Kings’ char­ac­ters and strate­gies as well as ad­vice from sea­soned play­ers.

On­line stream­ing plat­forms such as egame.qq.com, chushou.tv and Huya.com have strong au­di­ence fig­ures for their paid con­tent.

Backed by Ten­cent, egame.qq.com is one of the

big­gest broad­cast­ers along with Chushou.tv, which has pro­vided more than 800,000 live stream­ing videos re­lated to Honor of Kings.

“A com­plete gam­ing in­dus­trial chain has been formed for years,” said Teng Hua, founder of gam­ing data com­pany Gamma Data Corp.

“Ev­ery pop­u­lar prod­uct will be sur­rounded by an in­dus­trial chain,” Teng added. “I would say the mo­bile game Honor of Kings of­fers new op­por­tu­ni­ties for the de­vel­op­ment of the in­dustr y.”

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