Over the weekend Chinese gaming giant, Tencent, was accused of falsely advertising an in game event that gave players Tencent currency for levelling up.
Tencent, which recently acquired a minority stake in Epic Games, is one of the biggest internet companies in China. Offering various services from micro blogs to instant messaging, Tencent even has it's own digital currency called Q Coins. These Q Coins have become so widely used and popular that the coins can be used to purchase real world merchandise. Current valuation estimates show that 1 Q Coin is equivalent to 1 RMB, or about $US0.15.
In their game Dragon in the Sky (御龙在天), Tencent offered players the possibility of earning 1 Q Coin for every level they reach. Tencent's own marketing material even tells players that they should "rest up" before the big level grind so as to make the best of the promotion.
While the possibility of earning real world credit for just playing a game sounds good, enterprising players have found that they aren't actually receiving their Q Cons. In fact, it was discovered that many players would only receive game packs that include in-game items.
When confronted by the news media, Tencent said that their promotion is 100 per cent legitimate going so far as to say that the event pay out wouldn't happen in full until about 2014. That means players who leveled up in 2012 won't be seeing their Q Coin awards till 2014, two whole years after the event has ended.
According to media reports, Dragon in the Sky isn't the only game in recent times to use Q Coins to attract players. Unfortunately for those games, they were all shut down by Tencent.
腾讯被疑虚假营销：号称升1级送10Q币 [People's Daily]