Up to six thousand games may have gone without a license in China last year due to the government's restructuring.
China’s licensing freeze took hold in March 2018 of last year and lasted nine months. There was no singular cause, but a restructuring of the regulator and the ruling party’s desire to better monitor and control content played a role.
During a panel session at Pocket Gamer Connects London called 'Publishing In Asian Markets – The How To Discussion', JoyPac’s COO Allison Bilas (pictured, main) noted that typically around 8,000 licenses get granted each year.
As that number was only 2,000 in 2018, it's possible that approximately 6,000 had to do without.
Furthermore, the panel also mentioned that companies waiting for approval could be left on a two-year waiting list.
However, Bilas said that she didn’t think it would take that long and should be much faster.
The freeze had a big impact on companies in the region, though some were able to weather the storm in part thanks to getting approval for releases before the freeze.
PUBG Mobile developer Tencent took a huge hit and lost $20 billion in value during the blockade. It's still been unable to monetise the hit battle royale title in the country.
Smaller developers were also impacted, with less clout to subsidise the lack of local income with global releases and monetisation.