Here’s what’s going on with China’s video game approval process in simple terms

    
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No video games out there.

We all know that China is a big and expanding market for video games, and you probably know that this year has seen a freeze on releasing new games for public consumption, with Monster Hunter World serving as an early victim of the process. What the heck is going on? A post on Gamasutra explains it in simplest possible terms.

In the clearest possible terms, the situation is as follows: China rearranged its governmental agencies, including the two different agencies in charge of approving new games for monetization and release. The Ministry of Culture is still approving games, but the other department, the State Administration of Press & Publication, has not been granting approvals, leading to a logjam that only allows games to slip through if the SAPP’s predecessor had already approved the title. While there’s still demand, the breakdown in the process is proving harmful to smaller publishers and indie development in particular.

Equally unfortunate for fans in the country is the fact that Twitch has now been banned in China, with its app removed from the regional app store and most mainland locations unable to access the website. There’s been no official statement on the reasons.

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rafael12104

Heh. It’s sad, really. Sad that there is better reasoned and thought out debate here in this forum than the narrative we get from our government on both sides of the aisle.

And now back to The Apprentice (the White House edition.)

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Arktouros

China is huge money. Just absurd amounts of money to be made there. I 100% get why their government would play like a gatekeeper to access that money.

Just glad I don’t live there.

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bobfish

All this doom and gloom. At least now they are planning to write some actual guidelines about what a game requires for approval. The system before was purely subjective and down to the individuals doing the reviewing, which lent it to being heavily biased and completely obscure (probably corrupt too).

And you can spin the negative view of the Chinese government all you like, but lots of countries around the world have rating systems for games and it isn’t unusual for games to not be approved or end up in an Adult Only category or banned. China is just playing catch up with taking games and their content seriously.

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Paragon Lost

So much crap that comes from the Chinese government. Whether its video games, manufacturing, social interactions of its citizens or criticism what it does, it errs on the side of strong controls and censorship. As it grows stronger economically in the world it flexes its muscles even more. We’re gonna continue to see things like this.

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Utakata

…to make matters worse, a certain Hair Furor is fighting to have some of that power too. So let’s not consider this is a problem that’s all over there. /bleh

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Paragon Lost

Oh, agreed, the situation here currently depresses me and has since the elections. I just don’t forget the influence and power that China now wields more and more upon the world and not just it’s citizens. :/

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Jadefox

In the meantime Google is creating a totally independent version of the internet for China that will be 100% government controlled… No wonder Google dropped its old “do no evil” motto.

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kgptzac

This narrative gets tiresome after all these years. If Google can get its search into the chinese market, even play 100% by the government’s rule, it’s still a net gain for the liberal democracy agenda, however small it is, rather than completely remove itself, an act which has been mostly hubris.

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Paragon Lost

I disagree that it’s a net gain. What China has shown repeatedly is that if you play ball with them that become a net loss for who ever deals with them. I kinda see it related to how Walmart operated and probably still does for many years.

Where it made deals with manufacturers and then became their prime client and after a while that manufacturer was totally beholden to terms that Walmart set. Yeah, China’s a lot like that but with much stiffer real world penalties.

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kgptzac

What you said is not exactly relevant to the post you replied to, but yes I get it. The Chinese government is the tentacle monster from the nightmares where everything it touches will be wholly and irreversibly tainted and corrupted. Stuff like that is a recurring theme in my Japanese hentai consumptions.

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Schmidt.Capela

The point you gloss over is that not dealing with China is often worse.

China wants to develop its technological capabilities, make its companies into high-tech ones capable of fighting for, and perhaps even cornering, the global market. To that end they have a two-pronged approach.

On one hand, China forces any company that wants access to the incredibly large Chinese market to set up joint ventures with Chinese companies, in the process transferring technology and business expertise to China and enabling their current Chinese partners (or other Chinese companies that poach their partner’s already trained employees) to become their future global competitors. Companies often accept those terms because if they don’t their competitors likely will, so sitting out brings all the negatives of fast-tracking their future competitors without the benefit of access to the humongous Chinese market.

On the other hand, in case no company in a given field wants to comply, China is ready and willing to use government resources and influence to jumpstart local companies; thanks to the sheer population size and a network of good public colleges China has enough highly qualified researchers and engineers to give even Silicon Valley companies wet dreams, and isn’t afraid of using them to further their national industrial strategy. The end result is that even if every company in a segment refutes the Chinese lure, it just buys them a few more years free of Chinese competition, at the cost of being locked out of one of the largest markets on Earth.

That, BTW, is a large part of the reason for the US-China trade war; using those approaches China is on track to become the most technologically advanced nation in the world within a decade, perhaps less, which is something the US wants to prevent. Losing the technology crown would have enormous implications, such as neutralizing or even reversing the current technological edge enjoyed by the US military and reversing the flow of patent royalty dollars from a net influx to a net loss.

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Paragon Lost

Its a point that I glossed over, since I didn’t want to truly get into a robust discussion, I just wanted to call out someone pushing a propaganda agenda. Staying silent when those like the person I was responding to is how we get the current state of US government and what’s going on in the UK.

I firmly believe that we the first world do have to deal with and interact with China in a consistent, firm and fair way. You can not ignore them but you can not allow them to set the pace, substance or style of how the rest of us operate.

While we are far from perfect in the west and are apparently always in a two steps forward, one step back frame of mind (see the last US election and Brexit), we are still doing much better than China when it comes to democracy and how we treat our citizens and how we approach freedoms.

Allowing them to set the tone, to guide and punish other countries who push back against their restrictive and overly punitive style of government is a bad thing for the greater good.

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Schmidt.Capela

If you were talking about the EU countries being better than China I would agree. Not so much with the US, though. About half a century ago the US backed a military coup where I live that plunged the country into a dictatorship that lasted decades, one where — with help from the US — “dissidents” were spied upon, tortured, banished, or even outright killed. It’s no wonder Che Guevara — a medic and communist rebel who helped Fidel Castro take over Cuba and fought against US influence in South America, in the end being killed by US soldiers —is often seen as a continental hero here exactly because of how he fought against the US.

In the global scenario the US doesn’t care much for freedom, democracy, etc. They want money and resources, and are perfectly fine meddling with other countries to get what they want, even if in the process they damage that country’s democracy for decades to come. You can even see some of this in the demands they make of China; the US wants to prevent China from uplifting its industry and to guarantee US companies access to the Chinese market, but is usually silent about Chinese censorship and how they prosecute dissidents.

Besides, I agree with the post you labeled as propaganda; disengaging might be a valid tactic, but it’s one that only works if it can either shame the other party into changing their ways or if it can cause enough harm to force the other party to change out of sheer survival instinct. This is really unlikely to work with China, who can use the state-controlled press to twist any attempt to disengage into propaganda that paints whoever is trying to disengage as anti-China (which can even have a similar economic effect to imposing small punitive tariffs, only without the political downsides), and has spent the last couple decades making sure its industry can survive any foreign attempt to disengage.

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hadez

I’m a little disappointed in the OP for trying to make excuses for China’s censorship. Its not a backlog, its coming right off the heels of google/facebook/twitter announcing they were going to comply with new Chinese regulations on censorship. They are delaying new rules/systems in place that would censor chat/news/info from the gaming community. I mean, if you post on facebook that your not happy with the Chinese government you’r already not allowed to get a raise due to their social credit system.

It’s very simple. The online gaming platform is the next step of firewalls that china is trying to impose on their population from western culture “corrupting” Chinese society.

This is the beginning of the end of anything worthwhile to come out of the asian gaming market.

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kgptzac

There’s more places in Asia other than China, so I wouldn’t be too worried about good games that are strong enough to penetrates the Asian market into the international playfield. Doomsday much?

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Paragon Lost

Difference is China’s a major power house, those other places aren’t. I am amused that you’re defending them left and right though.

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kgptzac

I think you should be the one put your ideological garbage into the dumpster and look at things that exist in reality. For example, how many MMO that people care on this site are made by Chinese devs, compare to Korean ones?

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Paragon Lost

Exactly what I am doing, looking at real world situations. Carry on with bearing that propaganda banner though.

Ernost
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Ernost

This is the beginning of the end of anything worthwhile to come out of the asian gaming market.

Considering pretty much every Asian game is from either Japan or Korea, I have no idea what you are trying to say here. Or does the education system suck so badly where you’re from that you think Asia is just one big country?

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Tuor of Gondolin

Here is what is going on in simple terms: China has an authorive government that determines what its people see, hear, and play. This situation is about control – government control.

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rafael12104

Money has not found its way to this new agency. It will and this will be a vague memory. Meanwhile, the black market thrives like always.

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Dantos

I would guess the twitch ban is because its a real-time system from an outside entity that the government couldn’t effectively monitor or control as much they would like and/or to give a similar, internally developed service free reign now that the market has been established.

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rafael12104

Yup. Add also that much of Twitch content would be considered lewd and lascivious. Considering how they censor tv and movies, it is not a surprise.