Game of Thrones video game coming to China, as regulator approves first foreign titles in more than a year

Date:

Share post:

The State Administration of Press and Publications licensed 30 online games based on foreign intellectual property China’s top content regulator has approved a fresh batch of online video games based on foreign intellectual property (IP), the government’s first such move in more than a year after it ended a nine-month licensing freeze.

The State Administration of Press and Publications (SAPP) on Tuesday published a list of 30 newly licensed foreign online games. This included titles submitted by China’s three biggest video gaming companies – Tencent Holdings, NetEase and Perfect World.

Among the new titles approved was Game of Thrones: Winter is Coming, a strategy game for mobile phones developed by Shanghai-based Yoozoo Games in partnership with HBO and Warner Bros Interactive Entertainment.  Tencent, which runs the world’s biggest video games business by revenue, will handle China distribution for that highly anticipated game, adapted from the hit HBO show Game of Thrones that is on its eighth and final season. The game is currently in beta testing.

“Although a quota implementation will likely be maintained for imported games, this is, nonetheless, a positive for both domestic publishers and overseas game developers,” Jefferies equity analyst Karen Chan said in a report on Tuesday.

The new batch approved included 22 mobile titles, five personal computer games, two Xbox titles and one game for PlayStation 4, according to Chan. Hong Kong-listed Tencent was granted a licence to publish Battlerite, a team-based action title for personal computer gamers that was developed by Stunlock Studios of Sweden.

NetEase, China’s second largest video games company after Tencent, obtained approval for The Room Three for mobile, an instalment of the popular puzzle game series from British firm Fireproof Studios. In a separate list published on Monday, the SAPP announced a batch of 67 approved domestic games, mostly developed by small and medium-sized studios. China’s video gaming market, the world’s largest, suffered its slowest growth in at least a decade last year amid a freeze in approvals because of a government restructuring. The regulatory hiatus also came as Beijing tightened industry control to combat the problem of game addiction and myopia affecting Chinese youth.

The SAPP – formed in April and now under the Communist Party’s propaganda department – resumed the game approval process at the end of December. It has since licensed nearly 1,000 games. Before Tuesday’s announcement, those titles were all based on Chinese IP. Publishers in China are required to submit games for review to authorities before these titles can be sold in the domestic market. Last month, the SAPP reportedly called a halt on new game approval submissions, as it struggled to clear an estimated backlog of 7,000 to 8,000 titles caused by last year’s hiatus.

Some of the world’s hottest games, however, are still on the waiting list for a full launch in China. Shenzhen-based Tencent, for example, has yet to be cleared for in-game purchases in its two battle royale hits PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds and Fortnite.

China’s top content regulator has approved a fresh batch of online video games based on foreign intellectual property (IP), the government’s first such move in more than a year after it ended a nine-month licensing freeze.The State Administration of Press and Publications (SAPP) on Tuesday published a list of 30 newly licensed foreign online games. This included titles submitted by China’s three biggest video gaming companies – Tencent Holdings, NetEase and Perfect World.

Among the new titles approved was Game of Thrones: Winter is Coming, a strategy game for mobile phones developed by Shanghai-based Yoozoo Games in partnership with HBO and Warner Bros Interactive Entertainment.

Tencent, which runs the world’s biggest video games business by revenue, will handle China distribution for that highly anticipated game, adapted from the hit HBO show Game of Thrones that is on its eighth and final season. The game is currently in beta testing.“Although a quota implementation will likely be maintained for imported games, this is, nonetheless, a positive for both domestic publishers and overseas game developers,” Jefferies equity analyst Karen Chan said in a report on Tuesday.The new batch approved included 22 mobile titles, five personal computer games, two Xbox titles and one game for PlayStation 4, according to Chan.Hong Kong-listed Tencent was granted a licence to publish Battlerite, a team-based action title for personal computer gamers that was developed by Stunlock Studios of Sweden.

NetEase, China’s second largest video games company after Tencent, obtained approval for The Room Three for mobile, an instalment of the popular puzzle game series from British firm Fireproof Studios.In a separate list published on Monday, the SAPP announced a batch of 67 approved domestic games, mostly developed by small and medium-sized studios.

China’s video gaming market, the world’s largest, suffered its slowest growth in at least a decade last year amid a freeze in approvals because of a government restructuring. The regulatory hiatus also came as Beijing tightened industry control to combat the problem of game addiction and myopia affecting Chinese youth.

The SAPP – formed in April and now under the Communist Party’s propaganda department – resumed the game approval process at the end of December. It has since licensed nearly 1,000 games. Before Tuesday’s announcement, those titles were all based on Chinese IP.Publishers in China are required to submit games for review to authorities before these titles can be sold in the domestic market.Last month, the SAPP reportedly called a halt on new game approval submissions, as it struggled to clear an estimated backlog of 7,000 to 8,000 titles caused by last year’s hiatus.Some of the world’s hottest games, however, are still on the waiting list for a full launch in China. Shenzhen-based Tencent, for example, has yet to be cleared for in-game purchases in its two battle royale hits PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds and Fortnite.

The delays in approvals has prompted Tencent to step up its investments in cloud computing for industries as challenges beset its consumer business.Many games developers in China have also stepped up efforts to publish their new titles overseas because of the regulatory delays in approval. Some independent labels have already sharpened their focus on reaching the US market with personal computer games distributed through digital platform Steam, which has an estimated 30 million users in China.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

NEWSLETTER SIGNUP

Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.

Related articles

Banking Bombshell: New Zealand Orders Inquiry Into Banking Sector Over Competition Concerns

New Zealand's banking sector is under scrutiny as the government launches an inquiry to assess competition, particularly focusing...

Singapore Airlines’ Turbulent Ride: Provides compensation for flights affected by turbulence

Flying, while typically a smooth experience, can occasionally take a turbulent turn. Singapore Airlines' recent turbulence incident was...

South Korea Resumes Loudspeaker Broadcasts Amid Balloon War with North Korea

In a significant escalation of tensions, South Korea has announced the resumption of loudspeaker broadcasts directed at North...

Ultimate Efficiency: 8 ChatGPT Prompts to Automate Your Day!

Are you tired of spending hours on repetitive tasks that could easily be automated? You’re not alone. Every...