The Chinese government is tightening regulations regarding the release of new video game licenses. In the country, the gaming sector has been blocked since July 2021 until today. This is one of the longest durations that local businesses have faced following the 9-month suspension that took place in 2018.
According to President Xi Jinping, these restrictions are due to addiction and the phenomenal hours that young people spend in front of their screens. A very restrictive situation for companies living in this sector. 14,000 of them had to end their activities. Larger publishers are required to export their company abroad.
Chinese government frowns on video games
China is currently the leader in the gaming market in the world because it brings in the most turnover in this area. Yet relentless company closures risk weighing on the country’s economy. Indeed, developers do not see themselves investing or developing new projects for the domestic market. The Chinese press has not even talked about new game titles since the end of July.
No convincing explanation has been provided for the suspension and at present there are no reports indicating that a resumption is possible. At the People’s Consultative Conference, the President of the State raised the issue of youth addiction to video games. In August, it was announced that playing hours will be set at three hours per week for minors.
Video game companies move from China to overseas
TikTok, Baidu and Tanwan Games have suspended a number of their employees working in the video game industry. As for the industry leader Tencent Holding and NetEase, they now prefer to look to the foreign market. The hope that internal business will pick up begins to fade. Tencent even plans to open its new studio in Singapore.
Running one of the largest video game companies in the world and owner of WeChat, Tencent is indeed planning to export its services overseas, under the subsidiary of TiMi Studio Group. TiMi is the publisher of some of the most popular mobile games of the moment, namely Honor of Kings and Call of Duty. This new company, located in Singapore, will be the fourth overseas development center.