China Implements New Video Game Rules And Regulations

No gambling, blood or anything related to imperial matters.
China is still a largely untapped market when it comes to gaming.
China is still a largely untapped market when it comes to gaming. Den of Geek

China has now released new guidelines for what video games will be allowed in the country.

The country has been making the rounds in gaming news these past few days, from finally allowing the Nintendo Switch to be sold with distributor Tencent there after a lengthy deliberation, to the recent buzz surrounding Tencent’s supposed newest gaming phone. The news was also bolstered, as the Chinese government has recently begun approving a backlog of gaming titles in order to catch up to other countries and realize its potential as one of the world’s largest gaming markets.

Last April 10, a newly-established government-sponsored gaming authority called State Administration of Press and Publication held one of the county’s first gaming conferences and published a set of guidelines regarding video games. It seems that some of the decisions made by the council should definitely please some, while others will find offense with it. Publication TechCrunch has confirmed via their original report that the event did take place.

Earlier this week, on April 22, China finally moved to resume the approval process for the licensing of new games for monetization. Licensing for these new games resumed officially back in December, but according to a report from Reuters last February, the Chinese government moved to stop accepting new submissions temporarily due to the growing pile of applications.

While this may all seem like good news for Chinese gamers, there is also some bad news heading their way: there will be a cap on the allowed games on the market annually, and some genres will outright be no longer eligible. Gambling titles, like mahjong and poker games, are now off the official approval list following government crackdown on titles that may channel illegal gambling.

Games inspired by China’s imperial past, including “gongdou” and “guandou” are also never going to be approved now. “Gongdou” directly translates to harem scheming, while “guandou” means palace official competition. Both directly relate to the novelization of imperial life inside Chinese kingdoms, and as such have been banned due to possible obscene content and the risk of political metaphors.

Less surprising is the portrayal of blood, which in the past can be circumvented by changing the color of the blood shown. Under the new ruling, however, all color variations of blood will no longer be approved.

While this renewed interest in the gaming market has certainly lifted the spirits of Chinese gamers, it remains to be seen if the restrictions placed on certain titles and genres will end up becoming more of a hindrance than a solution to breaking what potentially is the biggest gaming market in the world.


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