China’s Game Regulator Approves Another 55 Titles in April

China’s State Administration of Press and Publication (SAPP) on Monday approved the second batch of games in April, bringing the number of licenses for domestic games issued this month to 110 and the total for 2020 to 419.

The 55 approved titles consist of 51 mobile games, two PC client games, and two console games. Of the 51 mobile titles, close to half are casual games. 

Heavyweight titles in the batch include Tencent’s puzzle-platformer Incredible Mandy, which has already been released on PC and Nintendo Switch in overseas markets in late 2018, as well as Perfect World’s IP-based massive multiplayer online title Fantasy New Jade Dynasty.

Gaming giant NetEase secured approval for Unknown Future, a roguelike card game set in a post-apocalyptic future. Video streaming site Bilibili received a license for a 2D side-scrolling action PC game named Eastern Exorcist.’s 3D naval combat-themed role-playing game Abyss Horizon, which has more than 830,000 reservations on its official site as of writing, also gained approval from the regulator.

Another highlight in the batch is Shio, a Nintendo Switch title developed by a Shenzhen-based gaming company that has been released in markets outside China since as early as 2017. The recent approval allows Shio to be released on the Chinese version of Switch distributed by Tencent, increasing the number of games that could soon be available on the platform to six.

The batch of games approved Monday puts the average monthly approvals the SAPP has issued in the first four months of 2020 to around 105, or around half the number for the same period last year.

In April 2019, the SAPP introduced a new game approval process that would reduce the number of game approvals given out each year with the goal of improving the overall quality of games on the market. The new standards would reject low-quality or copycat titles and tilt toward high-quality ones.