Stepping up the campaign to battle gaming addiction among minors, the Chinese government has slowed down approval for all new online games.
This is according to South China Morning Post, which cites sources familiar with the matter. Previously, the publication stated that the regulators have suspended the approval process altogether, which later turned out to be inaccurate.
The decision to slow down new video game approvals was revealed during a meeting between Chinese authorities and Tencent and NetEase. The Publicity Department of the Chinese Communist Party and the country’s gaming watchdog National Press and Publication Administration (NPPA), which led the meeting, did not make it clear how long the restriction would last.
One of the sources, though, said the new measure will probably hold “for a while,” as the authorities aim to “reduce the number of new games” in China, which happens to be the world’s biggest market. The rate of new approvals in the first half of the year was described as “a bit too aggressive.”
The general purpose of the meeting was to discuss how Tencent and NetEase are implementing the latest restrictions on gaming for minors. In August, Beijing limited playtime for minors to only three hours a week.
Updated 2:07p.m. UTC: Newsman Pei Li cited his own sources who did not corroborate the report by South China Morning Post that originally suggested that the Chinese government has suspended approval for all new online games: “I asked a source who attended the publicity department and NPPA meeting with video games companies yesterday, and the person told me there was no mention of the game license suspension in the meeting.”
“With that being said, it it true that the no license was issued in August and industry watchers are waiting to see when the website would be updated,” Pei Li added.
South China Morning Post has also updated their reporting since the original article went live: “An earlier version of this story incorrectly reported that new game approvals in China had been suspended. The story has since been updated to state that regulators are slowing the approvals process.”