China's new rules on video game approvals include banning poker and blood
Why it matters: China has outlined new rules when it comes to getting video games approved in the country. Several genres have now been banned, along with any titles that show images of corpses and blood, even if the latter is a color other than red.
A regulatory body reshuffle last March led to new game license approvals being put on hold in China for nine months. The process started to get back on track in December, but the government had to stop accepting new applications in February to clear the backlog.
While the process resumed on April 22, it comes with some new rules: the total number of games allowed onto China’s market annually will be capped, and three genres are no longer allowed.
Mahjong and poker games, which made up almost 37 percent of the 8,561 titles that were approved in 2017, will no longer be accepted due to concerns they could lead to gambling addiction among the country’s youth.
While blood in games was already banned, some developers had circumvented the rules by changing its color to something else, usually green. Now, no blood is allowed, no matter what its color.
Finally, games inspired by China’s imperial past will no longer be approved, this includes any that fall under the “gongdou” harem scheme and “guandou” royal palace categories. Officials are apparently worried about “obscene contents and the risk of political metaphors.”
TechCrunch writes that although large companies with plenty of resources and staff, such as Tencent, should have few problems adhering to the new policies, they could see smaller developers struggle to survive.