Earlier this month, there was a flurry of news about the state of game publishing in China. You’ll recall that Monster Hunter World ran into a regulation nightmare in the region when China rescinded Tencent’s license to operate the game there and forced refunds for something like a million people. Even that shouldn’t have been a surprise, as Korean developers had already raised the alarm over the fact that China had apparently ceased approving any new games at all following a bureaucratic overhaul of the government agency responsible for doing so (while Chinese-developed games continued flowing outward, of course).
More bad news for gaming has emerged from China this week, as the country’s ministry of education announced it was intentionally limiting new online games in an attempt to combat what it believes is screen-related myopia (nearsightedness – there is not yet scientific consensus on this topic). The ministry will also implement a new age-restriction system for games and fresh restrictions on play to boot.
According to the BBC, Chinese video game publisher stocks fell on the news; shares in Tencent, for example, dropped 5%, a loss of close to $20 billion US. The publication posits that Chinese developers will continue pursuing international markets – yo, that includes us – to make up for the uncertainty and mess back home.