Publisher MyGamez, which helps Western mobile devs launch their games in China, has commented on last week’s report that the Chinese government slowed down approval for all new online games.
The company made the statement via its LinkedIn page. According to MyGamez, the story originally posted by South China Morning Post (SCMP) has never been officially confirmed by the country’s regulators, which could mean that it is “just a groundless rumour.”
On September 9, South China Morning Post stated that the gaming authorities suspended the approval process, but later updated the article to reflect that the regulators are merely slowing down the approvals process. South China Morning Post claimed that the information was revealed during a meeting between the Chinese authorities and Tencent and NetEase. Following the report, the stock prices of several Chinese game companies saw further decline.
However, the news was rejected by Mainland China’s leading game media outlet GameLook. GameLook cited NetEase CEO Ding Lei, who called the information “fake news.”
Other Mainland Chinese media, MyGamez writes, also did not mention any slowdown in ISBN approvals when covering the meeting of the authorities with the gaming giants.
As MyGames explains, “Regulation related rumours are quite commonplace in Chinese game industry and the regulator sometimes does intentionally leak information it doesn’t want to formally announce. However, we think it would be highly unusual for PRC regulator to offer such exclusive information to a Hong Kong based media outlet, instead of the PRC state affiliated media. (Despite SCMP generally doing very good job covering China tech and gaming space.)”
The publisher does acknowledge, though, a recent delay in new game approvals, with the September “Q3 batch” of approvals postponed to November. This is due to the introduction of the new restrictions on playtime for minors.
Nevertheless, according to MyGamez, “this is business as usual,” with they delay only happening to give publishers time to implement the new playtime restrictions before their games are approved. The company further said that neither the government ISBN authorities, nor several independent ISBN agencies had confirmed the SCMP news. Instead, they specifically assured Chinese publishers that no additional slowdown is expected.
In conclusion, the publisher suggested that everyone should remain calm and not act on the information until some definitive confirmation arrives from a source close to the regulator.
MyGamez is a Finnish-Chinese publisher of Western mobile games in China. The company also provides marketing and distribution services to global publishers including Playrix, Rovio, and Social Quantum.