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China has established an ethics committee to vet online games

China has established an ethics committee to vet online games

December 10, 2018 | By Chris Kerr

December 10, 2018 | By Chris Kerr
More: Business/Marketing

China has established a new 'ethics assessment committee' to vet online games for release in the country. 

As reported by state media agency Xinhua, the committee is comprised of online gaming experts and researchers from government departments, industry institutions, and media outlets. 

Its primary goal will be to evaluate online titles that might "arouse social concerns and those that have already stirred controversies," and the panel appears to be taking its mission rather seriously. 

Out of the first 20 games the committee assessed, nine were denied approval outright, while the remaining 11 were sent back to their respective creators for amendment.

China has been clamping down on fresh game content since August (at the very least), with regulators in the country refusing to issue new game licenses in an apparent attempt to combat near-sightedness in children and teens and quell addiction fears. 

The decision resulted in the Chinese video game market witnessing its slowest first-half growth in a decade, and has even affected big-names like Tencent, which failed to gain approval to monetize last-man-standing shooter PlayerUnknown's Battleground on home soil. 

It's unclear how long the licensing freeze will last, although back in September the South China Morning Post suggested it could last for another four to six months -- meaning game companies might still be feeling the impact well into 2019.

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