On March 20, China’s online gaming regulator granted licenses to a total of 27 foreign games, including titles to be published by Tencent, Netease and Bilibili.
According to Reuters, the list of imported games approved by the National Press and Publication Administration includes Tencent’s “Merge Mansion”, Netease’s “Audition: Everybody Party”, and Bilibili’s “Pretty Derby”.
This marks the second batch of foreign online games to receive publishing licenses in China after a nationwide crackdown on online gaming halted the approval process for foreign video games for 18 months between 2021 and 2022. The first batch of online games was approved in December 2022.
The video game industry in China has experienced a series of government crackdowns in recent years, which has led to a decline in the industry’s growth. However, the introduction of new video game licenses could signal the end of China’s video game crackdown and the beginning of a resurgence of interest in the industry. According to China internet and media analyst Liu Yaokun, the gaming industry is expected to grow 6% in the coming year, which is striking in comparison to last year’s 7% decline.
Overall, the introduction of new video game licenses is a positive development for the Chinese gaming industry and could mark the beginning of a new era of growth and expansion. After taking a battering in 2022, China’s gaming industry could be poised for a comeback in the year ahead.