China's backlog of game approvals still holding up Tencent and NetEase

China's backlog of game approvals still holding up Tencent and NetEase

The State Administration of Press and Publications in China has revealed the next wave of games to be approved for launch in the region.

That's according to the South China Morning Post, which reports that 93 games have been granted licenses for sale in the country. This is the third set of titles given such approval following last year's freeze on new game releases in China.

Absent from the list are games from Tencent and NetEase, two of China's largest and most powerful companies, which highlights not only the sheer backlog that state regulators have to deal with after nine months of approving nothing, but also that getting your game out isn't to do with how big you are or who you know. That freeze ended in December of last year

The new guidelines for content are also potentially stricter.

Since the freeze in March 2018, 257 games have been approved for launch with the second wave constituting 84 titles

While we know that 93 games were deemed fit to launch in this wave, we don't actually know what titles are included in this figure. 

Many titles that are officially still being held up - such as Playerunknown's Battlegrounds - are actually available in China on PC already via Steam. They're just not approved for launch by a local publisher. When Valve launches its storefront in the region officially - which it is doing via a partnership with Perfect World - games launched on the platform will have to receive state approval.

At PC Connects London 2019 - as part of The PC Revolution track - a panel of industry experts shared their insight into the importance of China, as well as how Western companies can capitalise on this. Regulation was discussed at length - keep your eyes peeled for more from that session right here on 

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.