Last year, China stopped approving
new video games in an effort to (this is a direct translation) "protect children's eyesight," which created quite a bit of anxiety in the gaming industry. Eventually, the government started approving
games again, but the pace was relatively slow, and many worried that the government wouldn't be able keep up with the sheer volume of games coming to market.
Now, it appears that those fears have been realized. The eloquently named "State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film, and Television of the People's Republic of China" released
a new batch of approved games 5 days ago, but like the previous releases, I don't see any major titles from Tencent or western publishers in the list. I spotted a few console and PC titles, but it's largely dominated by a wave of mobile releases which, according to a report by Reuters
, may be too much for the government to handle. Reuters'
sources claim that the Chinese government stopped approving new games to work through their existing backlog. While investors in Chinese gaming companies will undoubtedly lose sleep over this, China is the world's largest gaming market by a considerable margin, so this freeze is also bad news for outside publishers that want to expand into the booming market. Ironically, it might also be good news for Valve
, as much of their existing library is still accessible in the country.
Posted by alphaatlas
10:10 AM (CST)
"The regulator asked local authorities to stop submitting applications because there is too much of a backlog for it to deal with at the moment," said one of the people, whose company was informed about the matter by its local authority. The person said the request was made to local authorities nationwide. The regulator approved 1,982 domestic and foreign online games during January-March last year before the freeze, government data showed. That came after approving 9,651 domestic and foreign online games in all of 2017. GAPP has approved 538 games since December. It is likely to approve just 2,000 to 3,000 titles in 2019, said Jefferies analyst Karen Chan in a note to clients. "Generally speaking the whole industry is frightened. There is no sign that regulators will loosen their control, said Beijing-based tech analyst Li Chengdong. "Investors are worried about the red line and risks here."