After years of being in the cold due to a government-imposed crackdown on the video game industry, China’s video game makers have been given a reprieve from the restrictions, but there are still some restrictions remaining.
Restrictions placed by Beijing in 2021 shattered a once dominant industry within the gaming world and as a result of that, almost half of the market value of the leaders like Natease Inc. and Tencent got devoured.
As China’s video games regulator granted license to Tencent and Natease for the year 2023, their shares showed signs of growth and this could be taken as a sign to an end of the clampdown.
Analysts around the world are expecting Beijing to approve at least 900 games for this year.
As per reports the crackdown on the gaming industry in 2021 was done to curb the gaming addiction among the younger generation and purge any kind of content that wasn’t approved by the government, with companies even asked to delete the content if it was too violent or in anyway foster’s the worship of celebrities or wealth.
It resulted in game sales within China to reduce by almost 10% in 2022 and it was also the first time that China’s video game industry took such a blow since 2003.
In November 2022, Tencent the biggest gaming company’s overall revenue fell by almost 5% and its shares dropped 24.7% in 2022 but has finally grew to 21% so far this year.
Investors are hoping for good as larger budgets for games are being approved showing the sign that publishers are interested in investing within the improving regulatory environment.
In December more then 40 foreign games were approved by the regulators and it inspired hope within the developers from outside China to re-enter the market.
Some of the regulations will still remain in place such as the one placed in September 2021 which limits the children under the age of 18 from playing games for more then 3 hours a week.
Also, games that are too violent such as Grand Theft Auto will remain barred from Chinese market.
The gaming industry of China’s return to form is also dependent on the recovery of China’s economy which is taking a big blow at the moment as he country is dealing with COVID infections.
The overall China’s gamer population remains stable and so if everything remains as it is the growth will be slow and gradual for the year 2023.