China is allowing new online games for the first time in nine months

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China’s video game regulatory authority on Monday issued publishing licenses to 45 games, including those from giant Baidu and party star from developer XD, ending a nine-month freeze that has ruined many of the country’s tech behemoths.

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Other companies in the industry whose games have been given the green light include iDreamSky, 37Games, Shenzhen Zqgame and Yoozoo Games, according to a list published by the National Press and Public Affairs Administration on its website.

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Shares of Chinese online gaming group NetEase and US-listed Bilibili rose 8% and 8.6% respectively in pre-market trading.

Regulators in China stopped issuing licenses for all new online titles in the country in July 2021. This decision has had a major impact on many companies, including giant Tencent (Honor of Kings), and NetEase (LifeAfter), and led to thousands of bankruptcies in the video game industry.

The break coincides with China’s decision in August to impose new online game time limits for those under 18. Minor gamers are limited to three hours of video games per week online, Friday , Saturdays and Sundays only.

This drastic intervention is needed to end the growing problem of video game addiction, a “mental opium”, according to Beijing.

Epic Games decided to close its game servers Fortnite in China in mid -November 2021, without providing any explanation.

With information from Reuters

Source: Radio-Canada

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