Apple took a rather drastic step on its Chinese App Store this past New Year’s Eve as the company removed 46,000 apps, including 39,000 games, from the storefront in accordance with licensing requirements from Chinese authorities.
The sweep included a number of large titles such as Assassin’s Creed Identity and NBA 2K20 among others, with only 74 of the top 1,500 paid games surviving the wipe. Apple had given game companies an initial deadline of the end of June to submit a government-issued license number that lets users make in-app purchases, but then extended that deadline to December 31st.
Apple has so far not replied to a request for comment, but the move comes as Apple tries to close loopholes around Chinese content regulations. Analysts further posit that game devs will have to pivot to an ad-supported business model to counter both stricter laws and an extremely low number of foreign game license approvals in 2020, while Apple’s own bottom line will reportedly not be affected by this mass purge.