China approved 115 new video game titles in January 2024, marking the country's largest batch of approvals in 18 months.
This increase in approvals follows the withdrawal of a regulatory proposal that caused a stir in the industry, leading to a decline in gaming stocks like Tencent and NetEase. After the proposal was published, China greenlit 105 titles for sale in the country in its December batch, marking the first instance of approving over 100 games at once since July 2022.
The likes of Tencent, Lilith Games, Shenzhen Zhongqingbaowang Network Technology, and 37 Interactive Entertainment have all had their titles approved in January 2024.
Gaming companies listed in Shanghai, Hong Kong, and the US have lost approximately $80 billion in value since the publication of the draft regulations.
Following the market turmoil, the NPPA removed the proposed regulation from its website despite initially framing the proposal as an initiative to foster the “healthy development" of the gaming sector but has now pledged to consider public opinion in subsequent revisions according to South China Morning Post.
Last year, 1,076 titles obtained licenses for release in the country, marking a twofold increase from the 512 titles approved in 2022. This surge comes after the industry grappled with an eight-month licensing freeze. Subsequently, Beijing has relaxed its regulatory scrutiny on technology firms as it aims to support economic growth during a gradual post-Covid recovery.