In China, censorship extends to all corners of digital life. It not only affects searches of certain terms on the Internet (such as “Taiwan” or “Tiananmen Square”) or certain websites and social networks such as Google Google -which has even worked on a specific search engine for China- Twitter or Facebook. Audiovisual content, including videogames, must also pass the inspection of the Beijing Government before reaching the public.
“After almost a year without receiving new online games, the Chinese government has lifted the blockade and has allowed the publication of 80 online games.”
The more than 1.300 million inhabitants of China, make the Asian country the largest digital market in the world. As far as videogames are concerned, it is not an exception, as Chinese society is digitizing at a rapid pace and is becoming more accustomed to electronic entertainment.
But the aforementioned censorship does not make it easy. During 2018, the approval of new video games had frozen. Last Saturday, after almost a year without new “admits” on the Beijing white list, the launch of 80 online games that had been stopped due to the scrutiny of the authorities was approved.
Interestingly, among the titles approved for distribution, there is none of Tencent, the largest Chinese company dedicated to, among other things, the world of video games and electronic entertainment. It owns, among others, the WeChat instant messaging app.
The reasons for censorship? Chinese authorities often hide behind the fact that the video games they censor are too violent and can even cause myopia and addiction among young people. Reality has more political overtones. Companies, knowing the potential of the Chinese market, often develop special versions of their video games for China.