Economy

Chinese Government to Regulate Number of Video Games Published and Hours Played

Chinese Government to Regulate Number of Video Games Published and Hours Played”

According to public filings, Tencent also owns 100% of Riot Games, the makers of League of Legends; 80 percent of Supercell, the makers of Clash of Clans and Clash Royale; 80 percent of Grinding Gear Games, the makers of Path of Exile; plus minority stakes in Activision Blizzard, Epic Games (the makers of Fortnite), Ubisoft, Paradox Interactive, and several other multinational game publishers and development studios.

The government hasn't given any explanation for a freeze on title approvals since March, prompting debate over whether it's a temporary halt due to regulatory reshuffling or whether Beijing is planning a crackdown in a wider campaign against online content. Tencent's inability to monetise its hottest games also cast doubt over the relationship between the world's largest gaming company and the government.

The reason for the block on approvals was not clear, though it's been suggested the restructuring of the government body could be why.

The Arena of Valor World Cup is just one of many esports efforts supported by Tencent that may be affected by the Chinese Government's new efforts against gaming.

Pushing children to spend more time outdoors playing instead of gaming may see some backlash from parents, though. At this point, analysts at Asian game-market brokerage firm claimed that "it is unclear if the policy will ultimately be restrictive or not" and that game licensing in China will likely resume as normal for the time being.

China's education and media authorities will restrict the expansion of online games sector and establish related time limits for kids in a bid to lower the number of new myopia cases among the young.

"More Chinese companies will be looking at global markets as a way to offset regulatory challenges in the domestic market", commented industry analyst Piers Harding-Rolls from the IHS Markit consultancy.

The organization put out a notice on Thursday calling for limits to the number of new online games approved for distribution in the country.

Mobile gaming is the dominant force, generating 61% of the revenue.

The authority justified the new curbs as a way to counter worsening visual impairment among minors, after President Xi Jinping earlier this week called for greater national attention on optical health. "The use of electronic products for non-learning purposes should not exceed 15 minutes and should not be more than one hour per day".

It estimated Tencent accounted for 42 percent of China's mobile game market share in 2017.



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