Briefing: Video game license approvals plummet in April

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4月份游戏版号仅发一批,连续三周断粮 – GameLook

What happened: China’s game regulator, the State Administration of Press and Publication (SAPP), has drastically reduced the number of game approvals in April, approving licenses to only 40 titles compared with the 170 granted in March, game media outlet GameLook reported. Around three batches of games were being approved per month in the last few months, but only one batch of games were approved in April. The SAPP resumed approving new titles in December 2018 after a nine-month freeze, and has since approved a total of 1029 new games.

Why it’s important: The sharp drop in approvals echoes the new rules the SAPP released in April, in which the regulator said it would limit the number of games that receive licenses. Among the targeted are titles that “lack cultural value” or “blindly imitate others,” as well as those that often contain gambling features, such as poker and mahjong games. Although the rules have not been officially confirmed, the shrinking number of approved titles indicate that they may already be in effect. According to game research firm Niko Partners, around 5,000 games will be approved in 2019 under the new rules.