China Freezes Game Regulations, Throwing World's Biggest Gaming Market Into Chaos

Logo of Tencent is displayed at a news conference in Hong Kong China

Revenue from online games topped 25 billion yuan, up 6% year on year.

The company likens this to the "non-monetization of popular tactical tournament games" and the fact that five of seven new games they launched were towards the end of the quarter.

With the license freeze in place, the likes of Tencent and other companies that have lucrative partnerships with Western organizations like Blizzard have been seeing an impact on stock values.

Tencent tumbled on Thursday after reporting its first profit drop in a decade as Chinese authorities froze approval of digital games the company needs to make money. Although gaming revenue made up 40 percent of the revenue, it is also the business line that is causing the financial woes.

Earlier this week, Capcom's smash-hit Monster Hunter World was removed from the Chinese game market, forcing the distributor, Tencent Games, to issue refunds to customers.

"Monster Hunter: World" has sold more than eight million copies worldwide in five months, making it one of the hottest games this year.

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On Wednesday, Tencent said that it had "no clarity" on when it may get approval to start charging for its most popular game. The critics believed that the game is quite addictive, and hence, the company had to add in-game spending limits for underage account holders.

"For new game approvals, there will continue to be a drag", said Ms Alicia Yap, Citigroup Global Markets's head of pan-Asia Internet research.

Concerns about the competition and the increased regulatory oversight have weighed on the company's share price for months.

So keeping everything in context these apparent moves by the Chinese government are proving to be, more harmful to the developers and publishers as well as for the Chinese gaming industry, as well. The record was previously held by Gintama.

Hirokazu Koreeda's Shoplifters is reported to have extended its theatrical run in China to October 2.

The timing is particularly painful for the world's biggest gaming company. In Q2, Tencent Video's paying members reached 74 million, a striking 121% jump compared to the same period past year. The interesting parts of it are the details about Riot's declining playerbase and Tencent's own pursuit of mobile gaming, which have supposedly caused both companies to butt heads a few times in the past. Alibaba Group Holding affiliate Ant Financial was initially cheered for providing everyday people and small businesses with easier access to loans and other financial products.


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