China’s video game regulator has issued release licenses for 45 foreign games for release in the country.
The most popular mobile game in the Pokémon UNITE MOBA genre will finally be released in the mainland. The MOBA game has taken the world by storm since its release in 2020. Most recently, it achieved 100 million downloads.
After 18 months, the Chinese government finally lifted the rigid restrictions and approved 84 games from domestic publishers and 45 games from foreign publishers. These restrictions have plagued the gaming industry in China for a long time.
Due to these restrictions, the industry’s revenue was also affected. The government eased these restrictions slightly in April of this year when it started issuing new permits. Now finally, Chinese developers and publishers will have room to breathe after removing these restrictions.
Valorant and Pokémon UNITE are among the games allowed to be released in China. According to a Reuters report, of the imported online games that have been approved by the National Press and Publication Administration, five are published by Tencent Holdings such as Nintendo’s Pokémon Unite and Riot Games’ Valorant. . The regulator also approved 84 games in the country for December, according to a list released separately.
This approval ends Chinese government restrictions on the game industry that began last August when regulators suspended the game approval process. In China, the world’s largest game market regulators must approve video games prior to release.
In July this year, Tencent and NetEase games were dropped from the list of 67 newly approved games. Beijing’s year-long restriction on the industry has hit the revenue of Chinese tech companies such as Tencent and NetEase, industry leaders in self-developed and imported game publishers. China.
Besides Tencent and NetEase, other companies like ByteDance, XD Inc and iDreamSky also received approvals for the game from regulators this month. China’s video game regulator has eased the release of foreign games in the country, which is really good news for the game industry. Foreign releases include seven games from Korea, lifting rigid restrictions that have plagued the industry for 18 months.
South Korean gaming shares including Netmarble Corp (251270.KS), NCSOFT (036570.KS), Krafton (259960.KS), Kakao Games (293490.KQ) and Devsisters (194480.KQ) jumped from 2% to more than 17% in morning trading on December 29, a day after the Chinese government issued the license.
Approval of seven South Korean games is significant because China has restricted South Korean game imports since a 2017 dispute over South Korea’s installation of a US missile defense shield. Prior to this new listing, only two Korean games had been approved. The number of permits issued is less than in previous years. China approved 76 imported games in 2021 and 456 in 2017.
Among the imported online games approved by the National Press and Publication Administration, five were launched by Tencent Holdings (0700.HK) such as Nintendo’s Pokémon Unite and Riot Games’ Valorant.
Initially, the regulator published a list of 45 approved imported games. The authorities deleted Yoozoo’s Game of Thrones: Winter is Coming game later without giving a reason. However, Yoozoo appears to have obtained a license, according to a document the agency released in September.
Unlike in most other countries, video games require regulatory approval before being released in China, the world’s largest game market. The year-long restriction on the industry has dealt a blow to Chinese tech companies including Tencent and NetEase Inc, which derive significant revenue from publishing self-developed games and Imported game.
Through various affiliated companies, Tencent, the world’s largest game company, received a total of 6 licenses in December. Tencent has only received its first commercial game license in over a year. and a half last month, which is seen as an important signal towards policy normalization for the industry.
During a year-end meeting this month, Pony Ma, the founder of Tencent, said that the company must get used to Beijing’s strict licensing regime and that the number of new games that China approves will be limited. for a long time.