After nine months, the game license freeze in China has finally ended. The freeze was originally caused by internal government changes, causing regulators to come to a standstill. Department reorganization and shifts in power cause bureaucrats to tread carefully. With video games being a source of controversy, especially in places like China, no one wanted to rock the boat for the sake of these game companies.
The end of this freeze was always just a matter of time and, despite dips in stock that occurred, most publishers weren’t too concerned with the whole ordeal. And with the freeze officially over, China gaming stocks surged immediately.
The Chinese government has officially resumed approval of video games, and the first batch of titles has already been reviewed. But there’s still a long way to go in order to get these game reviews back into steady rotation.
Deputy head of the State Administration of Press and Publications (SAPP), Feng Shixin, said there’s “a big stockpile of games for review, so it takes a while. We will continue to work hard. [We] hope everyone can be patient.”
The managing partner with Asia-focused gaming research firm Nikos Partners, Lisa Hanson, said her team “heard that the first announcements will be for domestic games, with foreign games to follow.” If publishers are lucky, these in-limbo periods won’t happen again.
[Source: South China Morning Post]