Tencent's League of Legends spin-off wins an Apple award

USA: League of Legends esports manager, co-developed by Tencent Holdings and its US subsidiary Riot Games, has been named one of the 2022 winners of the Apple App Store Awards, a rare international honor for a Chinese title.

The video game was named China Game of the Year, the first time the US tech giant has named a separate category for a game from a single country.

Apex Legends Mobile, a co-development between Electronics Arts and Tencent, was named iPhone Game of the Year, while a puzzle adventure game developed by Chinese indie studio Optilusion and set to be released by XD Inc. in March 2020. Moncage was named iPad. game of the year.

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Apple picked a total of 16 winners, including BeReal, a popular photo-sharing app developed in France. Besides the League of Legends (LOL) spin-off and Monkees, the other Chinese app nominated in the awards was Goodnotes 5, a note-taking app by Hong Kong-based Time Base Technology that won iPad App of the Year.

In China, pressure is mounting on app stores to meet Beijing's stringent data and internet licensing requirements. For example, on December 31, 2020, over 40,000 game apps were removed from China's app stores to comply with a new requirement that only licensed games be made available to Chinese players.

In addition to the challenges posed by Beijing's strict content censorship, China's new data protection and personal information protection laws have increased the cost and difficulty of distributing foreign apps to Chinese users.

According to China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, there were 1.35 million apps in app stores in China by the end of 2021, down from 1.4 million at the end of 2020.

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The Tencent game was released in July this year and quickly became a hit, ranking fourth in mainland China mobile game sales in the first week. During that time it generated more than two million downloads and more than $5 million in revenue, according to app tracker Qimai.

The esports manager version of Riot's flagship League of Legends uses artificial intelligence to simulate real situations in real LoL matches, allowing players to act as esports team managers, deploying the abilities and positions of real professional players. can do.

It has so far featured 17 teams from the League of Legends Pro League (LPL), Tencent's top-tier professional esports tournament in China. Riot Games previously stated that it planned to expand the game to include players from other leagues.

This is only the second time a Chinese game has won an Apple App Store Award, following the success of Genshin Impact, which was named iPhone Game of the Year in 2020.

The award was a bright spot in an otherwise bleak picture for China's video gaming and eSports industry, which has seen the national team fail to reach the finals of the LoL World Championships, as well as weak consumer sentiment and strict regulatory oversight.

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The National Press and Publication Administration, China's top video gaming watchdog, implemented a rule in August that limits gaming time for players under 18 to 8 p.m. and only on Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and statutory holidays. It has also been strict when it comes to issuing new game licenses.

The government-backed China Audio-Video and Digital Publishing Association announced Tuesday that its annual December conference in the southern Chinese cities of Guangzhou and Shenzhen will be postponed because of the risk of COVID-19.

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