China Finally Appoints “Video Game Ethics” Panel

/ 5 years ago

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China Appoints “Video Game Ethics” Panel

With China’s immense population it’s hardly any surprise that releasing a game in the country can provide a huge boon in terms of sales revenue. There is, however, more than a few issues with that. Firstly, you have the matter of the countries very strict media regulation. Put simply, if the government doesn’t approve, it doesn’t get released. Secondly, and perhaps most tellingly, for the last 4 months, the country has effectively had a blanket ban on the approval of video game releases.

This is a matter that came to a head last October when it was revealed that they had shut down their last remaining game licensing office ahead of a planned complete overhaul of the approval system.

The good news is that despite some calls suggesting that the industry could be shut down until at least early 2019, a report via Polygon reports that China has now officially appointed a “Video Game Ethics” panel.

What Will They Do?

Well, it’s a bit complicated. You see, the office is probably going to have more of a say of what isn’t allowed rather than what is. It’s about censorship rather than approval. In the report, it has suggested that 20 games have already been reviewed by the panel. 9 have been outright rejected while 11 others have been rejected citing ‘changes required’.

We joked last month that Kingdom Hearts 3 will probably be banned for the inclusion of Winnie The Pooh. I wouldn’t be surprised if that game was on this list!

Is China Now Open To Games?

Well, I suppose the answer to that question is both and a yes and a no. China certainly seems open to the concept of gaming being capable of release in the country. If these early reports are to be believed though, it seems that very little is going to get past their rather terse requirements. You can’t pretend to be surprised at this, can you?

What do you think? Is this good news for game developers? – Let us know in the comments!


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