Beijing has resumed commercial licensing for video games

Beijing has resumed commercial licensing for video games, ending a nine-month freeze that has taken a toll on Tencent, the big internet group, and other publishers in the world’s biggest gaming market. China’s top media regulator said at the weekend that 80 new titles had been approved for commercial release, the majority of which are mobile phone games. Commercial licensing had been suspended since March… The freeze on approvals has slowed revenue growth across the gaming sector, not least at Tencent, China’s largest gaming company, which had lost more than $19 billion from its market capitalisation, in large part due to slowing games income. Tencent stock in Hong Kong closed at HK$310 ($40) on Friday, which is down about 25 per cent since the start of the year… China’s games market, which is dominated by domestic companies, will generate $30.8 billion in sales this year… split roughly evenly between PC and mobile phone games. Beijing has become increasingly vocal about the negative impact of violent content and gaming “addiction” on the country’s young people following the popularity of blockbuster mobile titles such as Tencent’s Honour of Kings, which became the world’s top-grossing video game with more than 50 million monthly active users.

Tom Hancock