Strict restrictions apply to games in China. The restrictions, which were initiated to control the time spent by young people and children under the age of 18, caused many game developers to encounter various problems. Especially the games of non-Chinese companies were subject to intense inspections.
According to South China Morning Post’s news, on June 7, 2022, the China National Press and Publication Administration (NPPA) announced new games that have been approved. With 45 games approved in April, China has approved a total of 60 new games this year. It is known that 58 of 60 games are mobile.
None of the confirmed games are related to Tencent or NetEase. In addition, the development process of all 60 games is carried out locally in China. It is much more difficult to get an ISBN for foreign developers in China. Non-Chinese companies need to somehow form partnerships with local Chinese firms or undergo strict scrutiny.
China decided to freeze game licenses in July 2021. This process caused approximately 14 thousand game-related companies to experience financial distress/bankruptcy in China. Giants like Tencent have made various maneuvers to keep up with government policies, but this adaptation process has not been easy for small developers.
These new game licenses were interpreted by someone as reducing restrictions on games. On the other hand, even though the temporary license freeze process has come to an end, the restrictions in China continue. At least, there is no official statement regarding this issue.
Although China has faced criticism regarding these restrictions, it remains determined. The country’s economic power and the crowd of its population are enough to create its own game ecosystem without being dependent on external resources. Even in 2021, when restrictions began to apply, China remained a dominant force in the games market, surpassing the US with $45.5 billion in revenue from its domestic games market alone.