China Resumes New Game Approvals After One-Month Suspension

China’s National Press and Publication Administration announced on November 17 an approval list for new online games this month, showing a total of 70 authorized titles. Tencent, which has not obtained approvals since September, attracted wide attention. A game called “Meta Slug: Awakening” published and operated by Tencent is on the list, as is “Fraxinus Decay,” operated by Beijing Wangyuan Shengtang, a company which Tencent holds 20% of shares in.

During a conference call on November 16 regarding third-quarter finances, a senior Tencent executive said that the company will resolve the game approvals problem in the near future. The individual added that after the game approvals are issued, Tencent will have more prepared games to release, and various headwind factors in the industry will definitely be alleviated.

NetEase, which has been plagued by Blizzard’s recent cancellation of a licensing contract for the Chinese market, also saw one game approved. According to public information, “Allstar Streetball Party” was approved in September, and another game gained approval.

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In addition to Tencent and NetEase, there are many A-share and Hong Kong-listed Chinese companies that have obtained approval for new games.

After game approvals in China were suspended for nearly eight months, the process resumed in April. Since then, except for in May and October, regulators have basically issued a new list every month. As of November 17, 384 games had obtained approved games this year.

Regarding the matter, Huatai Securities believes that this will further boost confidence within the industry, as the launch of new games is expected to accelerate, likely driving the overall growth rate of the game sector and improving its valuation.

Chinese state media outlet People’s Daily published an article on November 16 entitled “The Opportunity in the Gaming Industry Cannot Be Missed,” claiming that video games have already come to represent an industry of great significance to any country’s industrial development and technological innovation.

Zhang Yi, CEO of iiMedia Research, sees this article as a weather vane, claiming that the game industry will stimulate the digital economy and the low macroeconomic environment to a certain extent. Secondly, game development is highly dependent on science and technology, and the drive brought about by the industry, such as in VR, AR and simulation technology, has great influence. Finally, Zhang said that games can help spread Chinese culture to the world.