China bans live streaming of unapproved video games

In March, the Chinese government announced plans to expand its restrictions on online gaming for minors to include live streaming and social media. At the time, the government was seeking public feedback on a draft document of proposed changes, but it appears that some aspects of the crackdown are being adopted: Reuters The report says that the country’s National Radio and Television Administration has banned live streaming of unauthorized video games.

the new regulation [Google translated] applies to video games that have not been approved for publication in China, according to the report, as well as esports game streams and competitions from outside China. In addition to imposing limits on the game’s content that can be streamed on Chinese platforms, it also asks streamers to avoid “traffic-oriented” aesthetics and other “undesirable” behavior and interact with viewers in a “civilized and healthy” online environment.

The new restrictions are part of China’s ongoing efforts to combat gambling and online addiction among minors, a point explicitly stated in the first paragraph of the new guidelines: in society, it is urgent to take effective measures to strictly regulate them.”

One of the factors behind the change is that while video games need official approval to be published in China, unapproved games are often promoted on platforms like Huya, DouYu, and Bilibili. One of them, unsurprisingly, is Elden ringwhich Niko Partners analyst Daniel Ahmad said was a big hit with live stream viewers, despite not being approved for publication.

“Earlier this year, Elden Ring was a hit on Chinese game live streaming platforms, reaching 17.1 million cumulative daily average viewers despite not having a license,” Ahmad said.

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The new regulations come just a day after Chinese gaming conglomerate Tencent announced it will take steps to block access to unapproved foreign games on their platforms. Ironically, both moves come just days after Chinese authorities issued the first approvals for new video games in almost a year.

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