Since resuming its video game approvals in December, China has noticeably omitted its two biggest publishers. Finally seeing approval from the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television, both Tencent and NetEase have received licenses for the first time in over 9 months.
Although Tencent is known for its messenger service WeChat and divisive news application Tiantian Kuaibao, video games contribute a significant portion to the company’s revenue. Due to China’s freeze on licenses, Tencent has been unable to publish any of its games in the country, including the critically acclaimed Monster Hunter: World.
China has finally approved two new educational games for Tencent, which are unlikely to bring in the same revenue their triple-A counterpart presumably would have. Still, this provides a decent start to recovering the firm’s share prices, which have taken huge blows over the past few months.
A market update from our team- pic.twitter.com/9G29vREmYc
— Niko Partners (@nikochina) January 24, 2019
Fortunately, developer Perfect World managed to get a license for its self-titled mobile MMO, to which Tencent holds exclusive publishing rights in China. Niko Partners analyst Daniel Ahmad revealed to TechCrunch that “the game is the mobile version of the extremely successful massively multiplayer online role-playing game with the same name. We note that Perfect World Mobile is a core game that is set to be a high revenue generating title when it launches.”
Second-largest Chinese video game publisher NetEase hasn’t been left out, managing to get approval for its upcoming MMORPG called Spring and Autumn Period Wars. No details have been revealed as of yet, but it takes its name from the historical wartime that took place roughly between 771 and 476 BC.
Ahmad has confirmed that the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television is working its way through the backlog in order of submission, and could take up to six months before reviewing new applications. Luckily, 188 games have been approved in January alone with a total of 353 titles gaining licenses since December, showing the pace is picking up. Additional games are expected to receive approval before the end of the month.
KitGuru Says: Losing out on the biggest market on the planet certainly must sting, but companies won’t have to wait too much longer before things hopefully return to normal.