China suspends licenses for new video games

Canton [China], Nov. 15 (ANI): The Chinese government has apparently suspended licenses for new video games.

China approved the latest video game license in July this year, NIKKEI Asia newspaper reported.

It comes as the Chinese government restricts children’s exposure to games and app stores de-platform unauthorized titles.

Chinese authorities have not made any official statement regarding the suspension of new licenses for new video games. Although Investment Bank China Securities considers the halt in the granting of new licenses to be the result of a convergence of separate policy initiatives, Chinese NIKKEI Asia reported.

Chinese engineers and developers fear further expansion and job security due to the freeze on video game licenses.

An engineer from Guangdong Province, which is home to a large part of the video game industry, said, “Several projects in my company have been halted due to the license freeze, I fear the staff will be cut if the license suspension persists, “NIKKEI Asia reported.

Clearly, China has stepped up its scrutiny of the media and entertainment industry. Recently, in August this year, a crackdown was launched on online groups that lobby and force people to join celebrity crowdfunding campaigns, NIKKEI Asia reported. People think the gaming licensing gap could be part of this state-led campaign.

Developer revenues are unlikely to be affected immediately if the license freeze persists. The reason is that the majority of developers tend to stick with the version to analyze competing titles and other market conditions.

Another reason anticipated is the Chinese government’s limitation on children’s exposure to video games. Children under the age of 18 are only allowed to access online gaming services for an hour a day on weekends and holidays, NIKKEI Asia said.

Another risk factor is the websites from which games are downloaded. During the 2018 shutdown on game licenses, some download portals were willing to offer titles that were unlicensed or bearing fake certifications, the newspaper reported.

A global game developer, Tencent Holdings is building and creating markets beyond the reach of Chinese authorities. Even TiMi Studio Group has launched independent game studios in Seattle and Los Angeles.

Apparently, China encourages and promotes the expansion of the game business outside of China, NIKEI Asia reported.

Yang Fang, deputy director of the publishing office of the Communist Party’s central advertising department, said at an exhibition in Shanghai in July, “We need to raise awareness of internationalization more,” NIKKEI Asia reported.

Growing speculation, scrutiny and regulation by the Chinese government in different markets and industries is hampering small developers. (ANI)

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