China’s online gaming regulator on Monday granted licences to 27 foreign games in March, including titles to be published by Tencent Holdings, NetEase and Bilibili.
Among the imported online games approved by the National Press and Publication Administration is at least one by Tencent, a game called Merge Mansion, according to a list the regulator released on Monday. NetEase secured approval for at least one mobile game named Audition: Everybody Party, while Bilibili received a licence for a game called Shanyao! Youjunshaonu.
This marks the second batch of foreign online games to receive publishing licences in China recently, just three months after the regulator approved the first batch in December. The crackdown by China on online gaming had halted the approval process for foreign video games for 18 months between 2021 and 2022.
The approval of imported games last December marked the end of China’s crackdown on the video game industry which began in August in 2021 when regulators suspended the game approval process. Regulators first resumed issuing game licences to homegrown games in April 2022.
XD Inc received licences for two mobile games named Gorogoa and Wizard of Legend respectively. Other notable titles approved by China via this batch include a mobile game called Fairy Tale: Fighting and a console game named Yo-kai Watch 4.
Last month, it was reported that Tencent was in talks with Meta Platforms to distribute its Meta Quest line of virtual reality headsets in China.
Tencent, the world’s largest video game publisher, had ambitious plans to build both virtual reality software and hardware at an “extended reality” XR unit it launched in June last year amid swelling global interest in the metaverse concept of a virtual world.
© Thomson Reuters 2023