The longstanding ban on the sale of video game consoles and games to Chinese consumers might be loosened at the Shanghai Free Trade Zone, but that does not mean everything goes, warns lawyer Mark Schaub in Mondaq, although the new opportunities prevail.
This relaxation of the ban does not mean that controversial games like Grand Theft Auto will be released in China anytime soon. New regulations were released on April 21, 2014 which described the approval process for video game manufacturers and also the categories of video game content that remains off limits.
As the Head of the Ministry of Culture recently stated, “We want to open the window a crack to get some fresh air, but we still need a screen to block the flies and mosquitoes.” While this “screen” may block out many of the world’s best-selling video games that contain violence and other controversial content, there is still plenty of reason for optimism on the part of video game manufacturers and fans alike…
All in all, the recent changes in regulations greatly improve the opportunity for video game companies to build their businesses in China. From first glance, some of the new regulations seem to place restrictions (i.e.content guidelines), but actually, such regulations are less in the manner of restrictions and are an indication that the Chinese authorities are building an infrastructure to deal with video games that are sold in China. Given its affordable pricing model and also the difficulties in pirating games, cloud based gaming is likely to be attractive to consumers and video game companies alike. However, success will largely depend upon how China’s infrastructure will continue to meet demands for quicker, better access. Over time it seems a safe bet that cloud based gaming will have a very bright future in China.
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