×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

China Again Stops Accepting Video Game Applications Amid Approvals Backlog

China’s top regulator has stopped accepting applications to monetize new video games as it processes a large backlog from a nine-month pause last year, reports say.

The development smashes hopes of a return to business as usual after the resumption of approvals in December, and bodes continued trouble in the world’s largest gaming market.

Typically, Chinese game companies file monetization applications to their local authorities, who then submit them to the General Administration of Press and Publications (GAPP). But a GAPP official confirmed that the body was “not taking any application materials at the moment” as it was making “adjustments,” according to state-backed outlet ThePaper.cn. The new hiatus was confirmed by Reuters, which said a notice about it had been issued this week, citing three people with knowledge of the matter.

The GAPP stopped processing new applications last March due to an administrative reorganization as well as concerns over violent content, gaming addiction, and myopia among young players. It only resumed approvals in December and has since processed just 538 games. Analysts estimate that some 7,000 games are stuck awaiting approval.

Authorities have said they planned to process about 3,000 games in 2019, although in years past, they were able to get through between 7,000 and 8,000, Newzoo financial analyst Michiel Buijsman told Variety last month.

“The regulator asked local authorities to stop submitting applications because there is too much of a backlog for it to deal with at the moment,” a person whose company had been told by local authorities of the new pause told Reuters.

Gaming companies saw their stock tumble during last year’s freeze, with Tencent losing billions in market value. It has still been unable to monetize its blockbuster games “PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds” and “Fortnite.”

“Generally speaking the whole industry is frightened. There is no sign that regulators will loosen their control,” Beijing-based tech analyst Li Chengdong told Reuters.

More Gaming

  • 'Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night' Has

    'Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night' Has Lots of Post-Launch DLC Planned

    “Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night,” the spiritual successor to Koji Igarashi’s Castlevania series, officially releases on Steam, GOG.com, PS4, and Xbox One on Jun. 18. It comes to Nintendo Switch a week later on Jun. 25. Publisher 505 Games has big plans for the side-scroller after its launch, and shared what downloadable content fans can [...]

  • Someone playing fortnite a computer gameVideo

    World Health Organization Making Final Decision on Gaming Disorder This Weekend

    The World Health Organization (WHO) is making its final decision on whether or not to classify video game addiction as a disorder on Saturday, May 25, a spokesperson told Variety. The 72nd World Health Assembly is currently underway in Geneva, Switzerland. It’s the decision-making body of the WHO, and it’s attended by delegations from member [...]

  • Nominees Announced for 2019 BitSummit Awards

    Nominees Announced for 2019 BitSummit Awards

    The Japan Independent Games Aggregate (JIGA) announced the nominees for the 2019 BitSummit Awards on Friday. BitSummit is an annual festival celebrating independent video games and developers based in Japan. Founded in 2012, it’s become Japan’s premier indie gaming event, drawing thousands of visitors each year. It takes place the weekend of Jun. 1 at [...]

  • League of Legends Esports to Release

    League of Legends Esports to Release Premium Viewing Option

    League of Legends Esports has a new Pro View premium experience which will allow viewers to watch esports matches from the individual pro players’ perspective, the company announced Friday. The Pro View Package will be available for the Summer Split of the League Championship Series (LCS) as well as the League European Championship (LEC). In [...]

  • Microsoft's Project xCloud Rollout Hits 13

    Microsoft's Project xCloud Rollout Hits 13 Regions, Capcom, Paradox Testing

    Microsoft’s take on cloud-gaming — an approach to game development and deployment that theoretically makes games playable on any system without the need for porting — continues its rollout, with the company on Friday detailing work they’re doing with developers Capcom and Paradox Interactive. Project xCloud now has custom server blades at Azue datacenters in [...]

  • 'Sonic the Hedgehog' Pushed Back Due

    'Sonic the Hedgehog' Movie Pushed Back to 2020 Due to Character Design Changes

    Paramount Pictures is pushing its “Sonic the Hedgehog” movie back three months, from Nov. 8 to Valentine’s Day. The delay follows fan criticism over the appearance and design of the titular blue hedgehog — particularly his teeth and lean legs. Director Jeff Fowler tweeted that it was “taking a little more time to make Sonic [...]

  • 'Mortal Kombat 11,' 'League of Legends'

    'Mortal Kombat 11,' 'League of Legends' Dominate Global Digital Games

    The world’s top-earning digital games for last month include “Mortal Kombat 11,” “League of Legends,” and “Fortnite Battle Royale,” according to a report from SuperData released Tuesday. The ranking of top grossing games for the month of April 2019 is split into three groups: PC, console, and mobile. The massively popular “League of Legends,” a [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content