China now has an Online Games Ethics Committee

China now has an Online Games Ethics Committee

In news that will come as little surprise to anyone, China now has an Online Game Ethics Committee.

That's according to local publication - via Google Translate - which says that this body has been established by the Central Propaganda Department and is comprised of experts from various parts of Government, as well as education, media and industry organisations.

This new organisation has the aim of responding to social concerns, enhance the ideological and cultural overtones in online games, as well as making sure developers and publishers play by Chinese societal rules.

All-in, this body is there to handle games that are, or could be, the subject of a moral panic - something that must happen a lot in a country with such a strict sense of culture enforced by the government. The first batch of games have been reviewed with the developers of 11 titles being asked to make changes before being published, while nine titles have been rejected.

This follows a strange year for video games in China with the regulatory not approving any new titles for much of 2018. This was due to a restructure, with a new regulatory body called State Administration of Radio and Television being formed in March, as well as new restrictions designed to halt a wave of eye-sight issues in China.

The analysts over at Niko Partners have reduced their game revenue predictions for China this year amid this change but still, reckon that premium game revenue from the region will hit $1bn by 2022.

Chinese tech and entertainment giant Tencent has felt the burn of these changes, slashing its marketing budget in the region to combat some pretty steep losses it has made as a result of, well, not being able to release new games in its home market.

The opportunity - and challenges - presented by the emerging Chinese market is one of the topics that we will be discussing at PC Connects London 2019. Tickets are available to buy right here. One ticket gives you access to not just this event, but also Pocket Gamer Connects and Blockchain Gamer Connects. 

PCGamesInsider Contributing Editor

Alex Calvin is a freelance journalist who writes about the business of games. He started out at UK trade paper MCV in 2013 and left as deputy editor over three years later. In June 2017, he joined Steel Media as the editor for new site In October 2019 he left this full-time position at the company but still contributes to the site on a daily basis. He has also written for, VGC, Games London, The Observer/Guardian and Esquire UK.