Metacore’s hit game, Merge Mansion, will be going East as the game has been approved for release in China and will be published by game giant Tencent.
The news comes as part of a raft of new licences being granted, allowing domestic and foreign titles to be released in China. This is the second wave of new licences since the lifting of domestic crackdowns on tech companies, which included freezing the granting of said licences. The news is being hailed by some as a return to normality and a positive sign for the future. This wave of licences includes a variety of domestic and foreign titles on a variety of platforms such as the aforementioned Merge Mansion, Japanese console title Yo-Kai Watch 4 and Netease’s Audition: Everybody Party.
The gaming licence freeze was a major hit for the formerly dominant Chinese games industry, where a near total halt to video game licences, required for sale and publishing in China, was called. The government cracking down on what they termed “Youth Video Game Addiction”, the knock-on effects of pandemic restrictions and a wider tech crackdown saw the Chinese game market forecast for its first recession in decades. However, a sudden reversal saw an initial wave of new titles approved for launch, with this second wave hopefully indicating a change in course for the treatment of the games industry in China.
Changing of tides
The shift in fortunes for the Chinese market is notable, as many may have seen a potential gap to muscle in on the territory of giants like Tencent and Netease. However, it seems that the freeze is now going to be followed by a glut of new games. Whether that will oversaturate the market or feeds a hungry audience will become clear by the end of the year.
The move is definitely a win for Metacore, who have been investing heavily into Merge Mansion with a new star-studded ad campaign featuring Hollywood star Pedro Pascal. Breaking into the Chinese market will expose their game to a whole new audience, and given the popularity of Merge Mansion internationally it’s likely that it will find a similarly loyal following in China.