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NetEase to impose restrictions on young gamers in China

Anti-addiction measures include an 11-hour curfew and a limit of one hour a weekday for people age 12 and under

NetEase has implemented a variety of measures to protect young gamers in China, including implementing an 11-hour curfew.

The Chinese publisher announced its plans on Wednesday, as reported by China Daily, which amount to a broad attempt to settle fears around addiction to video games in China.

NetEase will implement a curfew on gameplay between 9:30 pm and 8:30 am, during which users age 12 and under will not be able to log in. Those users will also be limited to playing for one hour a day between Monday and Friday, and two hours a day on the weekend.

Users between the ages of 13 and 18 will be treated with more leniency, with two hours play-time per day during the week, and three hours a day on Saturday and Sunday.

Changes to the "NetEase Parenting Care" service will also allow parents to request that their children be banned from playing the publisher's games.

The new system will be applied to 15 popular games at first, including Fantasy Westward Journey, Westward Journey, Knives Out and Onmyoji.

While this might seem drastic to many, it isn't the first example of a Chinese publisher restricting users from playing games. In July 2017, Tencent implemented a very similar system amid concerns around addiction to its smash hit game Honour of Kings.

The suspicion around games in China ultimately led to a freeze on approvals that blighted the national industry, and damaged the share value of both Tencent and NetEase. Both companies have only just had new games approved for release, after almost a year in limbo.

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Matthew Handrahan avatar
Matthew Handrahan: Matthew Handrahan joined GamesIndustry in 2011, bringing long-form feature-writing experience to the team as well as a deep understanding of the video game development business. He previously spent more than five years at award-winning magazine gamesTM.
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