Neither of China’s biggest videogame makers were included in a list of 60 new licensed games, which gave a boost to smaller, independent developers.
China’s gaming regulator granted publishing licences to 60 games, none of which were made by Tencent Holdings or NetEase. Foreign developers were also snubbed.
The National Press and Public Administration (NPPA) published the June list on its website on Tuesday, which included titles belonging to developers such as Perfect World and Mihoyo.
Other titles included mostly smaller-budget games such as Jurassic Army by Shanghai Eyugame and Kittens’ Courtyard by Beijing Object Online Technology.
It also did not include any foreign titles, extending the dry spell for imported video games to 12 months.
The June list comes over a month after the last batch of licences was announced on April 30. The NPPA did not publish a list in May, and has not given a reason why.
Prior to April, Chinese regulators stopped approving game monetisation licences for nearly eight months, which had a heavy impact on Tencent and NetEase and put thousands of companies in the industry out of business.
That pause coincided with a move by China in August to impose new gaming time limits on under-18s, an intervention that authorities said was needed to pull the plug on a growing addiction among children to what state media once described as “spiritual opium”.
- Reuters, with additional editing by George Russell