For the first time since August 2021, China’s video games regulator has approved the publishing licenses of 45 international games, including Pokemon Unite, Don’t Starve and Valorant.
In addition to the games developed by studios outside of China, 84 domestic games in China have also received the green light Reuters calls “the largest gambling market in the world”.
Chinese mega-corporations like Tencent and NetEase are among those getting the approval, with the former reportedly getting licenses for six of their games in December.
That’s fewer than the number of games approved in 2021 – just 76 imported games were awarded the contract last year – but it was seen as “an important signal of policy normalization for the industry,” according to Reuters.
Following news earlier this month, China believes it has solved the problem of young people’s growing addiction to video games.
It’s a significant step forward, not least because China tightened its regulations on game streaming earlier this year after some fans are watching games that China deemed “unauthorized” — like Elden Ring — via Chinese streaming platforms could, although many were not for sale in the country. Even seemingly innocent titles like Animal Crossing: New Horizons have been in the crosshairs after being used by Hong Kong protesters and others to create politically sensitive user-generated content.
China’s government agency, The National Radio and Television Administration, justified the move by saying that “issues such as chaotic online live streaming and teenage gambling addiction have been raising widespread concerns in society for some time and effective measures need to be taken urgently.”
https://www.eurogamer.net/china-green-lights-the-publishing-licenses-for-45-international-games China gives green light to release 45 international games