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China may not need six months to start approving games again - analysts

Games are now able to go to market for one month

Niko Partners expects China to start approving games in less than six months, despite initial fears.

China's Government hasn't approved any new licenses for video games since March, which means publishers don't have permission to release games in the market until permits are issued again.

The effects of the licensing halt has seen the Chinese gaming market slowing to single-digit growth in the first half of 2018 for the first time in a decade.

The reason for the permits is due to a reorganisation of the Chinese Government's department, which is designed to limit the number of new game licenses in an effort to reduce child myopia.

A report in South China Morning Post stated that this reorganisation could take up to six months.

But Niko Partners analyst Lisa Cosmas Hanson told Venturebeat it should not take that long.

"The newly created regulatory agencies have six more months to finish their reorganization, after which there would be no reason for further delay," says Hanson. "It might not take six months; in fact, we doubt it will."

"Of course it is troubling to not get new licenses for games that have been paid for, licensed, or developed, but revenue will continue to roll in for existing games. But everyone hopes that this delay in licensing will be rectified soon - much sooner than six months."

Until the reorganisation is complete, China has introduced a new testing period where games can go on the market for a one month period by obtaining a commercial-testing approval.

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Christopher Dring avatar
Christopher Dring: Chris is a 17-year media veteran specialising in the business of video games. And, erm, Doctor Who