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Chinese regulators approved nearly 1,100 games in 2023

Even with its newest regulation proposals, China's government approved over double the games for release in 2023 than it did in 2022.

Justin Carter, Contributing Editor

January 3, 2024

1 Min Read
Key art for NetEase's Lost Light.
Image via NetEase.

At a Glance

  • For 2023, China had its highest number of approved games in years after it restarted the process back in 2022.

During 2023, China approved 1,076 video games for release, its highest in three years.

Per South China Morning Post (SCMP), December 2023 had 105 acceptances. It's the first time since July 2022's 135 approvals that Beijing approved over 100 titles.

Most of these newer approved games were made in China, while only 98 were from outside the country. Approved games include Lost Light from NetEase and Tencent's Assault Fire: Future.

According to Game World Observer, 2020 saw just over 1,400 approvals. 2021 had 748, and 2022 had 512. At least part of that drop is attributed to the government freezing its approval process until mid-2022.

The National Press and Publication Administration (NPPA) said the approvals "support the prosperity and healthy development of the online game industry."

This new batch of approved titles comes after China's recently proposed crackdowns on in-game spending and daily rewards.

In response to those suggested rules, respective stock for both companies dropped by 12-25 percent. Last week, an official from China's regulatory agencies was removed due to the stock decline.

Last year, China gave the green light for 45 international games to be published, including Gwent, Valorant, and Pokemon Unite.

About the Author(s)

Justin Carter

Contributing Editor, GameDeveloper.com

A Kansas City, MO native, Justin Carter has written for numerous sites including IGN, Polygon, and SyFy Wire. In addition to Game Developer, his writing can be found at io9 over on Gizmodo. Don't ask him about how much gum he's had, because the answer will be more than he's willing to admit.

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