Following on from the recent news of a new review process for games looking to be published in China comes news of another restriction.
This is an extension of an existing system which limits the amount of time and money minors can spend playing mobile games.
Called the Online Game Anti-Addiction Real-name Authentication System, it came into force in February 2021, and is based around the national ID number everyone in China is issued by the government.
Game developers must conduct an ID check for all users, specifically for age.
For example, under 18s can’t play games between 10pm and 8am, and only play for 90 minutes a day during the week and 180 minutes at weekends or holidays.
The new version of this system requires all game companies to valid ID through an official government network. Previously, third party vendors could run the checks.
In addition, playtime must now be logged for all players regardless of age.
Finally, this network can only be accessed by Chinese companies who must link their games within the distribution channels they are being downloaded through.
This has the potential to hit foreign-based game companies, who particularly on the Apple App Store, have been self-publishing their games.
The new regime is due to go live on 1 June 2021, with any games not set up to verify through the government network being illegal at that point.
You can read more details about the changes via the blog of MyGamez, which specialises in publishing global mobile games in China.