China approves 105 online games amidst plan to implement strict gaming rules

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The Chinese regulator has approved 105 games for the domestic market, as per a statement issued by China’s press and publication administration on December 25. Games from some of the biggest gaming companies like Tencent and NetEase are also on the list.

Interestingly, the government has recently issued draft rules to regulate the online video game sector. As per the new rules, several restrictions on how online games will operate are going to be put in place to reduce gaming addiction.

The announcement caused an uproar about the changes among investors and triggered panic that resulted in gaming companies witnessing their stock prices fall.

“With regard to the concerns and opinions raised by all parties, the State Press and Publication Administration will study them carefully and will further revise and improve them,” China Central Television (CCTV) reported as per The Economic Times.

As per the draft rules, multiple monetization aspects in an online game are to be removed. These are mainly deemed to be creating addicting habits among young children. Some of the aspects include daily login rewards, ban on probability-based lucky draw, as well as getting approval from regulators in case the game contains excessive violence.

The government has previously taken action to curb gaming addiction among the youth, but not to these extreme lengths. As of now, the majority of online games in China are based on ‘Gacha’ system, where players open loot-boxes in hopes of getting what they want.

Public concerns and opinions are currently being taken on the matter, but in case the rules remain the same, the gaming industry in China can see a huge setback. Many games by Chinese gaming firms already have global and domestic versions. Notably, Chinese gamers are some of the biggest spenders.