China is back approving video games for release in the country, with a number of titles being released right before the end of 2018. However, it appears that two huge video game developers have been left in the dust.
According to Bloomberg, China’s government has approved 80 new titles for release, the likes of which can be seen online. Out of those games, many were locally developed. A total of 67 games were released for mobile, six were released for PC, and just one console game was approved.
Tencent and NetEase, two of the biggest game companies in China, were shunned from this first batch of game approvals. Why they were shunned isn’t known. With that said, everyone in China’s gaming industry has suffered since the country put a license freeze on video games last year, primarily due to bureaucratic reshuffling and concerns about children spending too much time playing video games.
Companies have tried to find ways to appease the government in the wake of both the ban and other government concerns. Tencent in recent months has instituted a ID system that restricts game time by age and uses real names while people play games online such as Honor of Kings.
Some of the most popular games outside of China, such as PUBG and Fortnite, have also been banned from the country since the new Online Gaming Ethics Review Committee was established last month. Another game that’s being censored is Kingdom Hearts 3, as Chinese censors have blocked Winnie the Pooh’s image from recent screenshots. This is due to unflattering memes comparing the Disney character to President Xi Jinping, who apparently isn’t laughing.
The Chinese government’s dislike for video games goes beyond just affecting the game industry in the country. A new social ranking system instituted by the government that monitors its citizens is set to deduct points for those that play games. The intrusive system is expected to roll out by 2020.