If you’re a developer or publisher making games with the intent of digitally or physically selling the product in China, there are some new rules and regulations to abide by when it comes to distributing the title in the far east.
According to GamesIndustry.biz the State Administration of Press, Publications, Radio, Film and Television want to limit the influence of Western developers, publishers and media by mandating them to work with a Chinese company when releasing their products in China. Both Sony and Microsoft had to do the same for the release of the Xbox One and PS4 in China, following the list on the console ban.
SAPPRFT also want to filter through every app that wants to be on the Chinese marketplace to ensure that it coincides with China’s regulatory policies.
An expert in Chinese law from the University of Pennsylvania, Jacques deLisle, mentioned to the New York Tiems that this is China’s way of maintaining control of new media on their not-so-open marketplace…
“This is the latest in a series of legal changes that seek to restrict the influence of foreign or western ideas. And it’s also part of a larger attempt to exercise control over the Internet and new media.”
The rules of censorship for getting a game on China’s digital marketplace for mobile devices was rolled out over on Sina Tech website, where they breakdown what’s allowed, what’s not and how developers will need to abide by specific conditions when it comes to politics, religion, social issues, civil issues and mature themes.
Developers have had their mouths’ watering over the idea of tapping the hundreds of millions of potential gamers in China due to the thoroughly saturated mobile phone market, but the SAPPRFT along with the Ministry of Culture want to make sure that the average Chinese citizen isn’t being indoctrinated by Western culture, politics or social sensibilities.
It’s amazing that despite how pro-censorship the far right is and the regressive left is in America and the U.K., one would think that things couldn’t get any more content-strict, but China is even more wary of American and European propaganda than third-wavers and faux-progressives are of female representation in Western gaming.
Essentially, you can get your game on China’s digital marketplace, but you will need to go through a Chinese publishing partner, and you will need to abide by their strict rules of censorship. GamesIndustry.biz notes that mobile app developer Kabam has managed to wade through the censorship minefield and find a modicum of success within the Chinese mobile market.