China Bans Unapproved Indie Games from Streaming

A new regulation has passed in China, putting a major kebash on the gaming industry for everyone involved. Just two days ago, The Ministry of Culture posted a new law, stating that there will be no more streaming games that are not approved by the Ministry explicitly. This regulation comes just a few short days after a previous law was passed by the Ministry of Culture, stating that all loot box drops recipients must be publicly announced and the probability of certain items being found in said drops be published for viewing.

China Video Game Regulations

This regulation isn’t exactly shocking, but the level of control this places over the heads of indie developers residing in China definitely causes quite a problem. For indie developers, the only way to truly market their products to audiences was to stream game play and try to garner attraction that way. Now, with this new regulation, all indie game developers must first get the Ministry’s approval before being able to stream them. Game approval for indie developers is a difficult road, unfortunately – not only does the approval process take up copious amounts of time to complete and is extremely expensive (especially for those who are building their title with a tight budget), but they also must be careful not to include anything that the Ministry finds “objectionable” (i.e. altars, political/military references, or English language elements). If any hints of these elements are found in the title, the developers have very little chance, if at all, of finding their title approved. No approval means no way to market the item online, and with that, the opportunity to grow a following for their titles gets taken away.

The new regulation is expected to go into effect starting on January 1st, 2017. This isn’t the only law that was passed by the ministry that exerts such strict control over the gaming industry. A few months ago, the Ministry of Culture also enforced that only certain games should even be played at all, tying into the ruling that any elements they deem “inappropriate” shall be banned from the public. This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to exactly how drastically the Ministry is changing the gaming industry in China. Who knows what could happen in the future? If precedence is anything to go by, it won’t be long before the video game industry is permanently dampened in the East. We can only keep our fingers crossed that no further actions will be taken from this point on.

What do you think of this new regulation? Do you believe this will have a negative impact on the gaming industry for everyone involved? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

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