China's game freeze is coming to an end

China's game freeze is coming to an end

The nine-month freeze on games licenses in China has officially come to an end.

The blockade meant that developers and publishers around the world, including within the country, were unable to obtain licences to release games or monetise them.

While many companies already had previously greenlit titles they could launch, others were forced to hold off on launch. Tencent for example was unable to monetise its PUBG Mobile titles in the country, despite the games being regular chart-toppers in the download rankings.

According to Chinese games market intelligence firm Niko Partners, the Chinese Propaganda Department’s Copyright Bureau deputy director Feng Shixin confirmed the news of an end to the freeze during a speech at the China Game Industry Annual Meeting in Hainan.

The country’s new games regulator - the State Administration of Press & Publication - has now completed reforms and reinstated the approval process. The first batch of games has been reviewed and licences will be issued shortly.

It may take a while for the organisation to get through the nine-month backlog, however. has the full story 

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Craig Chapple is a freelance analyst, consultant and writer with specialist knowledge of the games industry. He has previously served as Senior Editor at, as well as holding roles at Sensor Tower, Nintendo and Develop.