It is known to all that China is one of the strictest countries globally, censoring a large part of the content that can enter and leave the country. However, much of this secrecy focuses on the multimedia field, not only for the number of movies, series, or music but also in video games.
Although just a week ago, we talked about how the Asian giant had banned the global version of Steam. Now there is another even more shocking news: China’s primary video game regulator has not approved any new title since last July of 2021. This has been shared by SCMP, who assure that the National Administration of Press and Publications of China (NPPA) has not issued any license for developers since the middle of last year, thus censoring hundreds of local and international titles.
Consequently, several developers in the country have been forced to leave the business. On the other hand, other larger companies, such as the owner of TikTok, ByteDance, have been forced to cut their losses through the layoffs of their employees involved in the video game segment; In contrast, the prominent leaders of the industry, Tencent Holdings, and NetEase have transferred part of their investment and resources to other foreign markets.
However, it is not clear whether NPPA’s inaction is the direct cause of these closures, especially given the current debt crisis in which China is currently mired, although this is undoubtedly a calculated move.
And it is that the government of China left us 2021 marked by the fierce criticism and persecution of video games, calling some critical state media that this form of entertainment could be considered a “spiritual opium,” and even going so far as to create a law special to regulate the time that minors could play some titles, reducing their already limited freedom to just three hours a week.
Thus, given the repeated attacks by China on this sector, unfortunately, everything points to the fact that the situation is not only far from changing, but we could see new and tighter restrictions during this year.