Regulators in charge of approving video game licenses in the Chinese games market has paused their activities. This is not a drill, ladies and gents. We’re talking about a paralysis of the world’s biggest gaming market and a potential trouble for developers.
Due to president Xi Jinping’s government shake-up, it’s been 4 months since China approved a video game license and all platforms have been affected: consoles, online, and mobile. From the giant online gaming company Tencent Holdings Ltd to smaller developers, the whole sector is facing a major setback. Fortnite, the game everybody is talking about, can’t even be accessed in that country.
This issue adds an extra obstacle to the challenges already faced by developers in China, considering that the government keeps new titles in check for violence, sex, gambling, and non-socialist ideals and the fallout is already here. Tencent, which has managed to keep a steady profitability for the last decade, is looking at its first profit loss since it is currently incapable to reach the expected results from games such as PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds. The company was even forced to take the title Monster Hunter: World out of sale shortly after its release.
Nobody can tell for sure when the Chinese government video game licensing will resume. However, since the common process for approval usually takes about 3 months, an immediate return of the regulatory procedures will still take some time to come into effect.