An update on how China will enforce its mobile gaming restrictions for minors arrived recently at an event called ChinaJoy, where a government official confirmed the integration of a player ID registration system starting in September 2020.
Here’s an overview of what game developers need to know and do now to comply with China’s new regulations.
A recap of China’s anti-addiction plan
For those who missed our coverage of China’s playtime and purchase restriction for minors, here’s a brief summary of the plan introduced in November 2019:
Player registration: Users of all ages must provide their real name and national ID number in order to play mobile games in China.
Playtime limits: Players under the age of 18 are limited to 90 minutes of game time per day, which is restricted to daytime hours.
Purchase limits: Will apply per child per publishing company, across all games and platforms:
● Ages 0-8: not allowed to make in-game purchases;
● Ages 8-16: RMB 200 per month and RMB 50 per transaction;
● Ages 16-18: RMB 400 per month and RMB 100 per transaction.
Age rating system: Will be created based on game content, type, playtime, and payment methods.
Caregiver involvement: Guardians will be expected to monitor the game time of minors in their care.
Developer responsibility: Game publishers and developers will be expected to comply with the plan; those found incompliant can have their licenses revoked.
Further tightening of game regulations was announced in May, with the National Press and Publication Association (NPPA) declaring the first wave of game license controls to begin in July. Since then, thousands of unlicensed games have been removed from the Apple App Store.
What you need to implement now
In order to fulfill your developer responsibility and protect your game from delisting in the Chinese market, you’ll need to include player ID registration and modify your guest mode - if you have one.
1. Require players to register before playing
Games must show a pop-up when the app is opened that requires players to register with their name and ID number before they can enter and play. This is now provided by the Yodo1 SDK.
The real-name certification system will then connect to the police database for cross-checking. Players under the age of 18 will then be given the appropriate daytime time limitation for the app.
Translation of game notice: Due to your account information, you have been recognized as a minor. According to the Anti-Addiction System, you are barred from playing from 22:00 p.m to 8:00 a.m of the following day. Please arrange your time accordingly.
Once this limit has been reached, the SDK will show another pop-up to notify the player that their time is up and prompt the closing of the game.
Translation of game notice: You have played for more than 1.5 hours. Due to the Anti-Addiction System, you are not allowed to login for the rest of the day. Please arrange your time accordingly.
What remains unclear is whether or not this system will apply to foreigners who want to play a mobile game in China. Clarification on this may have to wait until a more defined system is presented in September.
2. Change your guest mode to meet new tourist mode requirements
Games often include the option to play in guest mode, allowing new players to have a go without signing up or giving any personal information. In China, this meant players were free to enjoy games without using their ID to log in.
With the anti-addiction plan, the Chinese government has also decided to modify this manner of playing, calling it tourist mode instead of guest mode.
In tourist mode, playtime is restricted to one hour every 15 days and players are not able to purchase content. To fully enjoy a game, they must log in with their government ID.
Translation of game notice: According to government regulations, non-registered players are only allowed to play a 1-hour demo of the game. To ensure your full-game experience, please complete your ID registration.
If your game in China has a guest mode, you must change it to comply with the newly stipulated tourist mode features.
Leverage Yodo1’s China Expertise
Besides securing your ISBN, we’ll provide our Yodo1 SDK to take advantage of:
● An integrated player registration system for full compliance with the NPPA’s regulations;
● UA performance tracking to optimise your UA for the local market;
● Android billing system allowing revenue collection from China’s multiple Android app stores with a single SDK;
● Monetisation through local ad networks, leveraging our China expertise to optimize your revenue.
Contact us now at email@example.com to secure your ISBN and prepare your game for China’s execution of the anti-addiction measures in September.
Yodo1 is a game platform company that helps developers better market, manage, and monetize their games. Our AI-powered tools and global expertise in areas such as mobile advertising, community management, and digital IP licensing enable partners to increase playtime, revenue, and retention. Our vision is to open the world of gaming success to anyone with the talent to develop. To learn more, visit www.yodo1.com and follow us on LinkedIn.