China’s online gaming authority today approved publication licenses for 45 foreign video games to be released there, further loosening the industry’s grip on restrictive restrictions that had been crushing it for the previous 18 months. A report that the National Press and Publication Administration published shows that a total of 45 imported online games were given their approval, including “Pokémon Unite” by Nintendo and the CD Projekt card game “Gwent: The Witcher Card Game.” Chinese Government License
The largest imported title on the list to be granted a publishing license is Pokémon Unite. The game, which was co-created by Nintendo and Tencent, was initially made available for the Nintendo Switch outside of China in July 2017. By the end of December of last year, 50 million people had downloaded the game, according to Tencent.
Beijing’s campaign against the video game sector, which began last August when regulators paused the game licensing process, effectively comes to an end with the acceptance of imported titles. In April, regulators started awarding game licenses to domestic games again, and it was believed that approving overseas games was the final regulatory barrier to be lifted.
This month, the Chinese government started to relax its regulations for the gaming industry, but Riot Games’ popular game Valorant was still prohibited. It has been eight months since China has approved any games, and this is the first time in 2022 that the Chinese government has announced game approvals. Now Valorant has been also given a license to operate legally within the country as reported by Reuters.
Chinese software firms like Tencent Holdings and NetEase Inc., which get a sizable portion of their revenue from publishing both home-grown and imported games, have suffered significantly as a result of Beijing’s year-long crackdown on the sector. This might be a healing step towards year-long barriers and uncertainty created by authorities.