China Bans Gambling, Blood, Bodies & Zombies From Games

/ 4 years ago
china censorship

China Extends Game Ban Criteria

The last year has proven to be a very difficult one for the gaming industry in China. Following a complete overhaul of their censorship system, video games (specifically new releases) were essentially banned in the country while a new ‘ratings’ system was implemented.

This did, of course, lead to more than a few amusing workarounds. Namely, many retailers creating their own ‘cover art’ to sell games on (essentially) the black market.

In a report via Bloomberg, however, the latest update to their ‘censorship’ list expands even further to include games that depict; gambling, blood, bodies or zombies.

Why The Ban?

The media in China is, pretty much, entirely state-controlled. As such, the government wants to ensure that any media released to the public is ‘in the best interests of cultural well-being’.

This does, however, often extend well beyond those remits. For example, when they decided to ban Winnie the Pooh. No, I’m not joking.

Since the lifting of their 9-month ban, some games have been able to get a successful (well, specifically official) release in the country. With these new rules, however, that surely is only going to get more difficult.

China Winnie the Pooh

What Do We Think?

It’s obviously very difficult for game developers to ‘write-off’ the Chinese gaming industry. Generating over $30bn a year, it’s a market that can be highly-lucrative, presuming you can pass censorship.

With these new rules, however, it does essentially wipe out the chances of the vast majority of AAA-releases. Something like Red Dead Redemption 2, for example, pretty much breaks all of these rules (and probably a lot more).

The short version is, however, that breaking China with your latest game release is certainly going to be a lot tougher now!

What do you think? – Let us know in the comments!

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