Chinese App Gamers
China has approved the publication of 45 new video games, and it looks as though mobile developers are first in line. Which is great news for the companies who have found their bottom line dwindling significantly after months in the cold. But even better for Chinese app gamers who will soon see between 500-700 new app games in 2022.
China’s media regulator, the National Press and Publication Administration (NPPA), froze all publication licenses for online video games in July 2021 as part of their efforts to curb video game addiction in children. This accompanied strict time limits for gamers under 18 years old so as to combat what they dub the “spiritual opium” that is online games, but chinese app gamers are everywhere.
Needless to say, this freeze has been a gut-punch to China’s biggest tech giants including Tencent, who lost billions in stock value during the freeze. And even now the ice is thawing, it doesn’t look like the PUBG publisher is getting a look-in. Yet, anyway.
Those that have been granted one of 45 licenses, however, include 37Games, iDreamSky and Yoozoo Games to name a few – all relatively big dogs in the international and Chinese app gaming scene. The authority also granted a license for a title called Party Star from Baidu and XD Inc.
These companies must be feeling especially good about themselves considering that around 14,000 studios went out of business thanks to the freeze. The dismaying news, however, is that these companies mainly comprised smaller studios that weren’t big enough to expand their horizons like the titanic Tencent, who are pretty hot on enforcing the NPPA’s rules in their games. Keep in mind the large audience of chinese app gamers is a huge market.
China would typically issue around 1,200 game licenses a year. But given that we are already over three months into 2022, and the fact that the NPPA seem to be taking an even harder stance against certain types of games as time progresses, we can probably expect to see far less in 2022. For instance, the regulator has recently suggested that games should avoid including effeminate men in their titles as it conveys the “wrong set of values”.
Either way, we hope that Chinese app gamers do get to enjoy the next wave of games, and that after such a large drought, they can get them into their hands as soon as possible.
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