China approves 80 new games as market opens back up for developers

China approves 80 new games as market opens back up for developers

China’s games freeze is officially over after new industry regulator the State Administration of Press & Publication finished reforms and approved 80 new licences.

The greenlight for these titles was given just before the turn of the year and they mark the first licences to be issued to developers following a nine-month blockade.

During this time new games were still being released - those that had already obtained their licences - but newer titles were not able to get through. There were also issues with monetisation, as Tencent for example could not monetise one of China's most popular games, PUBG Mobile.

Despite a return to China issuing licences, it may take a while to get back on track, with a large backlog of thousands of titles for the new regulator to sift through and tougher rules to follow.

You can see the list of the 80 titles to be approved here. The country’s two biggest games publishers, the Mobile Games Awards-nominated Tencent and NetEase, have not made the first batch.

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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.