Regulators in China have granted a total of 86 new video game licences this month, continuing the recent upward and improving trend of approvals after what has been a turbulent few years.
The number of new game approvals has been incredibly consistent through 2023 thus far, though interestingly, has declined by one licence per month. 88 new licences were approved in January, benefiting Tencent, NetEase, miHoYo and more.
In February, 87 licences were granted to games such as Tencent’s Wangzhewanxiangqi, Alibaba’s Chunqiuxuanqi and the NetEase game Journey to the West: Shikong.
Now we near the end of March with 86 new approvals for the month, a huge improvement on October 2022, for example, when no new licences were issued at all.
In fact, licences in the first three months of 2023 already total more than half of all licences granted last year, at 261 compared to 468.
A batch of approvals
27 new game licences were already granted earlier this month, and now that number has risen to 86.
Tencent and NetEase are once again among the companies who will feel the benefit, being given approval for action mobile title The Last Blade and combat game Mission Zero respectively. These approvals have come days after the acceptance of a batch of foreign games, noted South China Morning Post.
Dozens of smaller studios also benefited from licences, their games both local and imported. One such title is Love and Deep Space, developed by Shanghai-based PaperGames. The game is a 3D action romance.
Due to the Chinese government’s apparent aversion to gaming in recent years, companies like Tencent have begun to export China-exclusive games globally. Among those games, Street Fighter: Duel recently came to the West with a Monster Hunter crossover following close behind.
Many Chinese gaming companies recently vowed to promote Chinese culture and have "a positive impact on society".