Last week, WeChat announced a number of new incentives to encourage innovative mini-program game developers. Under the scheme, developers who apply for and receive the title of “creative game” for their game will be allowed to take a bigger cut of both in-game purchases and advertisement earnings, as well as other perks.

The change was announced amid a general cool-down of China’s gaming industry, which has hit WeChat’s parent company Tencent especially hard. Claiming that too much gaming is bad for kids’ eyesight – which research shows may be true, if only indirectly – in March China’s government stopped approving new games. In more recent months the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film, and Television has also vowed to limit the amount of time youth can spend on online games.

But despite a drop in earnings, WeChat appears to be pushing through with their mini-program initiative. Applications for original, “creative” games will be assessed by their mechanics, art, storyline, and music. The chosen games will receive a label, initial users to get their programs rolling, and a specialized team to investigate copycat complaints.

Start your free trial now.

Get instant access to all our premium content, archives, newsletters, and online community.

Monthly Membership

Yearly Membership

What you get

Full access to all premium content and our full archives

Members'-only newsletters

Preferential access and discounts to all TechNode events

Direct access to the TechNode newsroom

Start your free trial now.

Get instant access to all our premium content, archives, newsletters, and online community.

Monthly Membership

Yearly Membership

Bailey Hu

Bailey Hu is based in China’s hardware capital, Shenzhen. Her interests include local maker culture, grassroots innovation and how tech shapes society, as well as vice versa.