Chinese gamers are facing increasing restrictions and now it seems they're also going to have fewer games to play as well.
According to the South China Morning Post, no new games were approved by Chinese regulators in August or September.
In contrast, 33 games were approved in February, while 1,411 games were approved during 2020.
To be released, every game needs to be checked for its content and certified by various governmental organisations.
The halt in approvals appears to be due to new rules that games must "highlight correct values and an accurate understanding of China’s history and culture".
This means that developers are now having to rework aspects of their games to get them cleared.
This move follows the launch of the Game Evaluation and Rating Guidelines system in April 2021, which ranked every game up for approval across five categories.
- Value orientation,
- Original design,
- Production quality,
- Cultural content and
- Development stage
The Chinese Communist Party has been clamping down on various aspects of the games industry for years, but the pace of restrictions has accelerated in 2021.
This isn't just the case for games, though with many other sectors ranging from cryptocurrencies to ride-hailing services, fintech and education apps also hit hard.