China Set For Gaming Console Sales After 14 Year Ban Lifted
January saw the announcement of a ban being lifted in China on the sale of gaming consoles. The heavy hitters in this space being Microsoft, Nintendo and Sony Corp will now freely be able to manufacture and sell their consoles in the Shanghai free-trade zone.The biggest challenge ahead for game developers will be getting their games approved and to conform to the censorship rules laid out by the government. Some of the no-no’s include games with violence or which promote obscenity or drug use.
Games that violate China’s constitution or threaten national unity, sovereignty and which could harm the country’s reputation or interests are also not allowed.
There are various other strict rules around religion, hatred the promotion of gambling and others that will take effect. Big sellers in the “West” such as Grand Theft Auto and Call of Duty will probably never reach the shelves in China.
Plans have been drafted already on how things will be policed and the rules will allow for developers to submit their games for approval and to receive a response within 3 weeks and if rejected, a reason will be provided for this rejection.
China is the third largest gaming market in the world with PC and mobile games having taken the center stage. To date, this industry generates revenues in excess of $14 billion a year and with the door open now for consoles, the market will no doubt continue to see growth.