China's regulator ease scrutiny as Tencent and NetEase obtain approval of new game titles

November 18, 2022 8:35 pm

China’s top two video gaming companies, Tencent Holdings and NetEase, were both on the list of new license issued in November, as Chinese regulator gradually scrutiny on gaming sector.

The National Press and Public Administration (NPPA) published the list on its website on Thursday, which included Tencent’s "Metal Slug: Awakening and Netease’s "Journey to the West: Return".

The 70 new game titles approved by NPPA was the second highest number in 2022 behind the 73 issued in September. The regulator did not grant any new licences in October.

Other companies whose games received licenses included CMGE Technology Group, XD Inc, Giant Network Group and Perfect World Co.

Both Tencent and NetEase secured their second license since the freeze was lifted in April after securing the first one in September, ending a 15-month drought for approvals of new titles.

China resumed licence approvals for video games in April 2022, when it approved 45 titles. It issued 60 licences in June, 67 in July and 69 in August.

Still, China’s regulators have cut the approvals of licensed gaming titles, after peaking in 2017 when more than 9,000 titles were cleared to publish.

Beijing’s licence approvals for Tencent and NetEase come as China’s gaming market has started to shrink. China's video game market experienced its slowest revenue growth in three years in 2021

Total sales in the Chinese video gaming market declined to 59.7 billion yuan (US$8.23 billion) between July and September, down 19.1 per cent from 73.8 billion yuan in the same period last year, according to a report by Chinese video gaming intelligence firm CNG.