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China's video game licensing freeze could last another six months

China's video game licensing freeze could last another six months

September 10, 2018 | By Chris Kerr

China's clamp down on video game licenses could last for another six months, according to the South China Morning Post

The Chinese government has stopped approving licenses for new titles as it looks to tighten video game restrictions in an apparent attempt to combat myopia (short-sightedness) in children, with the ministry of education suggesting the visual impairment is linked to a rise in smartphones and electronic devices. 

It's a decision that's made it near-impossible to release new titles in the country, and while the government reportedly intends to grant the Communist Party propaganda department the ability to issue new licenses, implementing the change could still take between four to six months.

The restructuring process has already had a significant impact, with the Chinese video game market having just witnessed its slowest first-half growth in a decade.

Even big names like Tencent have been affected, with the Chinese tech giant having failed to gain approval to monetize uber-popular shooter PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds, while also suffering a share drop of 5 percent. 

Tencent president Martin Lau had previously claimed "it’s not a matter of whether these games will be approved for monetization, but a matter of when." Now, it seems like 'when' might be later, rather than sooner.

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