The world’s biggest esports mobile game, Honor of Kings, comes to more regions in just under a month. On February 21, players in Türkiye, the Middle East, North Africa, Eastern Europe and South Asia will get the TiMi Studios hit MOBA title on iOS and Android devices.
This regional availability will pave the way for the game’s global launch later this year.
Over 1 million players have already pre-registered from these regions. That window is still open, and TiMi has offered in-game rewards to pre-registered users.
The loot includes:
- Ying, one of the game’s iconic Heroes
- Ying’s Crimson Tassel skin
- 500 Diamonds
- 2000 Arcana Fragments
- 5000 Starstones
- A free trial of all Heroes for a limited time period
Honor of Kings has some 100 million daily active players. Since its release in 2015, it’s mostly been played in mainland China, where it’s only been available. Last year, Brazil became the first country outside of China to get the game, where it rocketed up the charts to become the country’s most-downloaded free mobile game in less than a month, and eventually getting voted in for the Google Play Users’ Choice Award.
TiMi has said that its developers continue to refine the game based on learnings from billions of matches played. The studio has had to strike a balance between playability and being able to reward skilled players as they progress up the charts.
“We have worked closely with our colleagues at TiMi to provide our community with the best possible version,” said Herman Zhao, head of emerging markets publishing at Tencent Games. “Whether they are experienced MOBA players or newcomers to the genre, having a localized game, including a comprehensive tutorial, shows the emphasis we place on our players’ needs and giving a warm welcome to Honor of Kings.”
Getting primed for an international launch also means preparing something for multiple communities. In addition to adding localized in-game text, Level Infinite and TiMi’s future content roadmap includes local cultural events and collaboration with regional talent.
Honor of Kings has previously partnered with world-renowned musical artists and celebrities the likes of Hans Zimmer, Joe Hisaishi, and, most recently, DJ Alok.
A growing esports program
The Honor of Kings’ esports scene will get a US$15 million boost ahead of its international launch. This will go toward creating global tournaments, but also smaller events that are more accessible.
We won’t have to wait too long to see this in action. Come March, Istanbul will host the Intercontinental Invitational with a US$300,000 prize pot. In the summer, this heats up with the mid-season invitational and its US$1 million prize pool.
The end of the year will all the fever come to a head with the Honor of Kings Championship Invitational, where teams from around the world will compete to be crowned the ultimate champion.