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Lots of news has surfaced from China’s gaming industry in recent weeks as the government hastens to approve a massive backlog of titles in the world’s largest market for video games.
Last Friday, the country’s State Administration of Press and Publication, the freshly minted gaming authority born from a months-long reshuffle last year that led to an approval blackout, enshrined a new set of guidelines for publication that are set to move some to joy and others to sorrow.
April - China - Approval - Process - Games
On April 22, China finally resumed the approval process to license new games for monetization. Licensing got back on track in December but Reuters reported in February that the government stopped accepting new submissions due to a mounting pile of applications.
The bad news: The number of games allowed onto the market will be capped, and some genres of games will no longer be eligible. Mahjong and poker games are taken off the approval list following a wave of earlier government crackdown over concerns that such titles may channel illegal gambling. These digital forms of traditional leisure activities are immensely popular for studios for they are relatively cheap to make and bear lucrative fruit. According to video game researcher Niko Partners, 37 percent of the 8,561 games approved in 2017 were poker and mahjong titles.
Rule - Hundreds - Developers - Genre - Impact
While the new rule is set to wipe out hundreds of small developers focused on the genre, it may only have a limited impact on the entrenched players as the restriction applies only to new applicants.
“It won’t affect us much because we are early to the market and have accumulated a big collection of licenses,” marketing manager for one of China’s biggest online poker and mahjong games publisher told TechCrunch.
China - Games - Past - Gongdou - Scheming
China will also stop approving certain games inspired by its imperial past, including “gongdou”, which directly translates to harem scheming, as...
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