China licenses 60 online games in June, none for Tencent or NetEase

HONG KONG: ChinaJapan’s gaming regulator granted publication licenses to 60 games on Tuesday, in a move that could provide relief to an industry battered by a regulatory crackdown and a long suspension of game approvals.

National Press and Public Administration (NPPA) published the June list on its website, which included titles from developers such as Perfect World and Mihoyo.

Other titles mainly included low-budget games such as Shanghai Eyugame’s Jurassic Army and Beijing Object Online Technology’s Kittens’ Courtyard.

The list, however, did not contain titles belonging to the biggest players in the industry, such as Tencent Holdings and NetEase. Still, Tencent’s American Depository Receipts gained more than 1.54% after the news. NetEase also saw its shares rise nearly 1.35% in premarket trading in New York.

It also included no foreign titles, extending the dry spell for imports video games at 12 months.

The June listing comes more than a month after the latest batch of licenses were announced on April 30. The NPPA did not release a list in May and did not give a reason.

Prior to April, Chinese regulators stopped approving game monetization licenses for almost eight months, which had a big impact on Tencent and NetEase and put thousands of businesses in the industry out of business.

The hiatus coincided with a move by China in August to impose new playing time limits on under-18s, an intervention it said was needed to end a growing reliance on what media outlets say. once described as “spiritual opium”.

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Carolyn M. Daniel