China closes last remaining official game licensing process
'Green channel' process reportedly shuttered while companies continue to wait for licensing to re-open
While developers and publishers in China continue their long wait for game licensures to begin moving forward again, it appears the last remaining official channel for launching titles has been closed as well.
Bloomberg reports that China's 'green channel,' a process for testing games that allowed them to make a sort of soft release in the country under certain circumstances, has been closed, with licenses no longer being granted.
The channel, which was introduced in August, was being trialed by Tencent with its desktop version of Fortnite in China. Essentially, games could be licensed for one-month monetization "trials" in the country if an application was approved. The idea was to let publishers see how audiences would react to and pay for their games ahead of an official approval, though it seemed many were using it as a way to make money in the interim while China held the Pause button down on those official approvals. Now, as of October, no more games are being approved even for this trial run.
The freeze on game approvals in China has been going on since April, and seems to be linked to the government's efforts to curb myopia in youth. Though some analysts predicted the approvals would be running again by September, others foresee the freeze lasting into early next year.