China's approval of 105 domestic games signals support of healthy development of online gaming
Published: Dec 25, 2023 10:54 PM
Young Chinese play online video games in an esport hotel. Photo: VCG

Young Chinese play online video games in an esport hotel. Photo: VCG

China approved 105 domestic games on Monday, the first time that the number of approvals had exceeded 100. An industry association said it was a latest signal that the country continues to support the healthy development of online gaming.

The National Press and Public Administration (NPPA), the country's top gaming regulator, said on Saturday that a set of new draft rules released on Friday to guide the online gaming sector aims to promote the industry's healthy development. 

Experts said that both the draft and the approval of the games indicated the country's goal of promoting the high-quality development of the gaming sector, and the NPPA's rapid response will help stabilize the industry and market expectations, as well as guide the industry with more rational development.

According to a post by the Game Publishing Committee of Chinese Audio-Visual and Digital Publishing Association on WeChat, the approval on Monday covers a large number of game makers, and it followed the approval on Friday of a batch of overseas-made games for import, which demonstrate that relevant departments actively support the development of online gaming. 

The approval also shored up the association as well as a number of gaming enterprises, read the post.

The rising approval rate of online games this year has helped boost confidence among gaming enterprises, as more market players explore new opportunities while starting to explore overseas markets, read the article.

"The latest move by the NPPA has sent a positive signal that the government will further support and guide the healthy operation of the gaming market, which will inject confidence and stabilize the expectations of the sector," Wang Peng, an associate research fellow at the Beijing Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times on Monday.

After the stock markets closed on Monday, several game companies announced share buyback plans. For instance, Perfect World Games said that it would spend 100 million to 200 million yuan ($28.3 million) on buybacks.

On Friday, the NPPA released a draft regulation on the management of online games with a focus on setting restrictions on excessive use of and high spending on games.

The administration on Saturday released a statement saying that the draft was aimed at promoting the industry's healthy development, and it has heard the "concerns and opinions raised by all parties" and "will study them carefully and further revise and improve" the draft rules.

Wang noted that the draft regulation will seek to reflect the views of all parties to reach a better consensus and promote the sustainable development of the industry, in addition to responding to community's concerns including those of users as well as minors and their parents.

In recent years, China's gaming industry has been robust and made considerable achievements. The sector's sales this year are expected to reach the milestone of 300 billion yuan for the first time, and the number of users will hit a new high of 668 million, according to a recently released industry report.

Online games are dependent on digital platforms and, in a broad sense, belong to the digital transformation of the traditional gaming industry, which is also a very important component of digital industrialization, Wang noted.

"The country's efforts to promote the healthy and sustainable development of the gaming industry is a realistic requirement to continuously improve the modernization of the governance system and governance capacity of the digital economy, thus further promoting the contribution of the game industry to China's digital economy," the expert said.