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China resumes approvals of video games
The Chinese government has resumed video game approvals following a nine-month moratorium on the publication of new titles.
A number of games have been already been approved and will soon be certified for release, China Securities Journal cites Feng Shixin, a senior official at the Communist Party’s propaganda department, as saying at a government-led trade conference in the southern Chinese city of Haikou on Friday.
“We are accelerating the process of issuing licenses for game titles,” he said. “There are still quite a few games on the waiting list. It takes time and I hope everyone will be patient.”
Feng stressed the importance that homegrown games uphold social responsibilities.
“This is definitely an exciting piece of news for China’s gaming industry,” Tencent, the country’s biggest game distributor, said in reaction to the announcement. The company’s share price soared by as much as 4.51% in Hong Kong at the end of the day’s trading,
Due to the increased regulation in the gaming sector, 42% of Chinese-listed gaming enterprises experienced a year-on-year decrease in profit during the first three-quarters of this year. The central government had not approved the release of any new online games since March.
The moratorium comes after the State Administration of Radio and Television (SART) was formed in March to replace the State Administration of Radio, Film, and Television (SARFT). The restructuring process was expected to be completed by early 2019.
In September, the Communist Party’s propaganda department was given the power to license online games. Earlier this month, Beijing unveiled a new body tasked with identifying ethical risks in games and providing suggestions to decision-making departments. When it was announced, the body had evaluated an initial batch of 20 video game titles, with nine of them being rejected for publication in China, while the remaining 11 titles required modification.