What happened: Tencent and NetEase, two of the largest gaming firms in China, have missed out on the first batch of video game licenses to be issued after a nine-month halt. Tencent said it has 15 games awaiting monetization approval in the pipeline. The approvals come nine months after the state suspended issuing new video gaming licenses in March 2018 due to regulatory restructuring.
Why it’s important: Although the Chinese gaming regulator is restarting the approval process, the thawing process is gradual and subject to tighter controls. To set standards for approval, the state administration rolled out regulation in August last year to limit the number of new online game titles as well as a plan to work on a content rating system. Only 3,000 out of 7,000 titles on the waiting list may receive official licenses in 2019, China’s 21st Century Business Herald reported, citing experts. The country’s gaming industry this year witnessed its slowest revenue growth in at least a decade.