China has taken action against 71 computer games and issued warnings to 27 game operators in what appears to be a growing crackdown against “vulgar” content in videogames.
China’s General Administration of Press and Publications has shut down 45 “foreign games” that had not been given official approval to operate, while 26 others were “checked and treated for bad content.” 27 game operators in the country have been issued warnings and given deadlines to correct their games, which a GAPP representative described as a “bad social influence.”
The rapid growth of online gaming in China means the GAPP will step up its oversight of the industry, with improved regulations and a system of approval and supervision procedures that will be fully functional by the end of the year. Approval and management of foreign games will be “further improved,” while home-grown games will be subject to a new registration system. The Administration also urged companies that operate online games in China to strengthen their self-discipline and “work hard to be good corporate citizens.”
Despite its burgeoning market, China seems to be growing increasingly wary of, and in some cases hostile to, the industry, and to foreign game makers in particular. Blizzard had to make several changes to World of Warcraft to satisfy the GAPP when the service moved from The9 to NetEase, resulting in months of downtime, while Diablo 3 Lead Designer Jay Wilson recently said that the country’s content restrictions could mean that Blizzard simply won’t be able to release a Chinese version of the game.