China finally greenlights Tencent, NetEase games for release

After weeks of being left out in the cold, China has finally approved some of Tencent and NetEase’s latest titles for release in the country, though some of the bigger games such as PUBG and Fortnite still await approval.

China’s new State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television greenlit 95 new games for release yesterday according to Reuters, with two games from Tencent and one from NetEase being approved. Tencent shares jumped three percent following the news.

Despite this, two of Tencent’s biggest titles, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds and Fortnite, have yet to be approved and thus have not been released in the country.

This follows a nine-month freeze on new games following a restructuring of China’s regulatory bodies Back in December, when China formed the Online Games Ethics Committee that approves or denies games for release in the country based on the game’s content.

One of the factors behind Tencent and NetEase’s cold shoulder from the Chinese government is that they are among the two most popular developers in the country. China has been increasingly interested in the ways people consume games, and have been critical of how they feel it has affected the youth in the country.

As a result, Tencent has tried to placate the government by rolling out a ID system last year that restricted game time by age and uses players’ real names during online play. Children 12 and under are limited to one hour of play each day. This started with Tencent’s popular Honor of Kings mobile game, and it currently plans to have it in all of their titles by the end of 2019.

China is so wary about how their citizens consume games that it will have a negative impact on their scores in an upcoming social ranking system they hope to roll out by 2020. People with low scores could be named and shamed by the government.