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China Passes 25 Million Paying Gamers, Relaxes Game Restrictions

According to a report by Asian-focused news and analysis site Pacific Epoch, China had 25.3 million paying online gamers at the end of 2005, continuing the massive rise o...
According to a report by Asian-focused news and analysis site Pacific Epoch, China had 25.3 million paying online gamers at the end of 2005, continuing the massive rise of online video games in the rapidly emerging country. In addition, the news, revealed as part of the entity's 2006 China's Online Game Report, comes in the wake of news that China’s Government body General Administration of Press and Publications (GAPP) has announced that adults will be exempt from the online game fatigue system, which restricts game functionality after a set period of time. In the original agreement over 'game fatigue', sometimes called the “Beijing Accord” and signed last August, seven of China’s largest online games publishers – Shanda, NetEase, The9, Optisp, Kingsoft, SINA and Sohu – agreed to implement a system which cuts the ability of a player’s online character in half and their ability to find treasure after three hours of consecutive game use. Further restrictions were then enforced after five hours of continuous play. The system began on a trial basis in October, promoting mass migrations of users to servers not using the system. The newly revised system will now only be enforced for those under eighteen years of age. However, according to a GAPP official reported on by Pacific Epoch, even this will force gamers to register their real name and details. GAPP officials expect the newly revised online game fatigue system to be implemented across the entire country by the end of 2006.

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