One of China's biggest games is going global with an open world RPG

Honor of Kings is one of the most popular mobile games in the world. It's also got a fun history: When Tencent couldn't convince Riot to make a mobile version of League of Legends, it had its TiMi Studio Group subsidiary whip up one of its own—Honor of Kings—which was then released in the West as Arena of Valor.

Arena of Valor flopped (which doesn't matter too much in the long run, since Riot eventually opted to take LoL mobile with Wild Rift), but it remains a monster hit in China: In November 2020, Tencent announced that Honor of Kings had achieved an average of 100 million daily active users for the year to that date, and in September 2021 it became the highest-earning mobile game of all time with more than $10 billion in lifetime player spending since  2015—including more than $2 billion over the first eight months of 2021 alone.

Now Tencent is trying again to bring Honor of Kings to worldwide audiences, but this time in a slightly different form: As an open-world action-RPG called Honor of Kings: World. The world in question is "teeming with compelling encounters, fantastic creatures and breathtaking landscapes," says the publisher. 

"To uncover ancient secrets hidden in the whisper of wind, cross paths with a diverse cast of lovable characters, create your own story alongside the living legends of different schools of thought in the Jixia Academy, or delve into the wondrous scenery of the Chang'an city where magic and technology converge..."

To my eye, the trailer makes Honor of Kings: World look quite a bit like Monster Hunter, a game in which players travel to an unpopulated, untamed continent to team up with others and use ridiculously oversized weaponry to kill or capture great, ferocious, exquisitely colorful beasts. The new game is being developed in collaboration with Three-Body Problem author Liu Cixin, and will be multi-platform, although no platforms have been specified as of yet.

Hideo Kojima seems to dig it:

See more

There are no further details at this point, but for now there is a Facebook page you can follow along with—although for now, there's not much to see.

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.