New regulations introduced by SAPPRFT this year means that new mobile games will need to be approved prior to launch in China. The changes, which went live on July 1st, have seen the government agency take on the arduous job of trying to approve every single mobile game as soon as possible so that the publishers can receive a license number to launch their games. SAPPRFT aims to have a turn around time of 20 days for simple games, but more complicated games can take 3 months or more for approval. We have already noted that these new regulations have begun to curb the supply of new games but demand for mobile game content remains stronger than ever.
In addition to approving all new games after July 1st, the SAPPRFT has mandated that all existing games that launched before July 1st must also be submitted for approval before October 1st. Those that are not approved would be shut down after this date. The SAPPRFT now has the huge task of approving the hundreds of new games each month and the thousands of old games which had released prior to July 1st 2016. Not all game publishers have been able to submit all of their games yet and the SAPPRFT themselves are only able to approve 100 games per week. Therefore, the SAPPRFT have decided to extend the approval deadline to December 31st 2016. This means that publishers still have time to submit existing games for approval and no longer run the risk of having their non approved games shut down this October.
These new regulations must be followed by Chinese publishers and non Chinese game publishers who are bringing their games to China. “The new regulations are daunting, but by understanding the Chinese gaming audience, the rules and the process game developers can still release games into the market, albeit at a slower rate,” says Lisa Hanson, founder of Niko Partners. “Now more than ever it is crucial to study Chinese gamer behavior, build relationships with publishing partners, and invest in localization that reflects cultural understanding beyond the requirements for all games to include only Chinese text.”
The new mobile game regulations are covered in our ‘2016 Chinese Mobile Gaming Report and 5-Year Forecast’ which is available for purchase now.
Please do feel free to contact me if you have any questions about how these new regulations may affect your company and games.