Earlier this month China imposed new laws regarding gaming, and now publishers and developers in China have received guidelines and regulations they will have to follow.
Currently in China, for a game to hit the market, it has to be approved by the government. The Chinese government was nice enough to release a document published by 4DB—an agency that approves video games in China—telling devs and publishers what they will have to do to make their games compliant with the new law.
The first part of the document tells publishers they “must strengthen their regulatory responsibility”, and that they will have to make a list of all of their games so that they can be recertified for the Chinese market. The deadline for this is November 30.
Which essentially means all the games will have to be updated to the latest laws and then reapproved.
Publishers from Beijing will also have priority when it comes to the approval process.
Chinese publishers will also have to pick their 4 best games, because that’s the number of games they will be limited to. They have until December 1 to do this. If they want to publish a new game, one of those 4 must be removed from the market.
Next up are the things that developers and publishers have until the end of the year to do. Developers will have to implement a system that only allows gamers to play the game if they enter their real name. Players will have to update their info on existing accounts and games too.
A guest mode is also to be added that limits play time to an hour and it can be used every 15 days from a single ID.
Gamers can also spend only a specific amount of money on a game.
Up to 8 years old, absolutely no money can be spent in the game.
For 8–16 year-old gamers up to 50 Yuan per week, or 200 Yuan per month can be spent on a game, which equates to $7 and $28 respectively.
And 16–18 year-old gamers can spend up to 100 Yuan per week, or 400 Yuan per month, equating to $14 and $57 respectively.
Gameplay time is also to be limited, which was mentioned earlier this month. Minors will be able to play for 90 minutes on weekdays. On holidays, they are limited to 3 hours. Finally, from 10pm to 8am they will not be able to play games at all.
Developers are also asked to add an age suggestion, but it does not equal the game’s actual rating.
Finally, all of the games that can be played through WeChat must have in-game purchases and advertisements removed.
It’s good to hear that things are going well in China. Maybe now western developers will start thinking about their actual fans instead of trying to claw their way into the Chinese market any way they know how. So I would like to thank the Chinese government on this one.