Report: Chinese games approval are becoming stricter

Report: Chinese games approval are becoming stricter

China's content regulator National Press and Publication Administration (NPPA) is apparently imposing tighter restrictions on the type of games that are approved for release in the region.

That's according to the South China Morning Post, which reports that a memo to that effect has circulation inside the organisation following an internal training course. The NPPA is saying that the approval process is going to become stricter and games companies are going to have a longer list of content to avoid in order to be given the nod for release in China.

Said memo says that games need to represent "a correct set of values" and are not an apolitical entertainment medium. Furthermore, they need to feature an accurate representation of Chinese history and culture.

SCMP says that banned content includes games that violate Chinese law, leak state secrets and encourage children to hurt themselves, as well as those that spread violence, gambling or superstition. Gay romance and "effeminate males" are also on the no list.

Furthermore, NPPA's memo says that players shouldn't be given the choice to be good or bad in a game.

This comes in the wake of NPPA not approving any games for release in August or September.

China's games industry is subject to something of a government crackdown at the moment. Stricter rules for how and when children can play games have been rolled out, while over 200 companies in the region have committed to self-regulation amid concerns over video games addiction.

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.