Chinese console and mobile game development frozen due to government shake-up and content concerns

The issues are affecting games like PUBG, PUBG mobile, and Fortnite.


China is a gigantic market for traditional gaming and virtual reality via video game giants like Tencent, but the market is experiencing even more regulation issues than usual in China's already typically difficult processes. A publication reports that China's regulators have frozen the approval of game licenses due to a government shake-up and it's impacting mobile and console games.

For new game approvals, there will continue to be a drag,” said Alicia Yap, Citigroup Global Markets’s head of pan-Asia internet research, to Bloomberg. “If they previously didn’t get an approval, it seems that there will continue to be a hold on that.”

In addition to the department restructures, an anonymous source told the publication that regulators are also concerned about violence and gambling. Loot boxes were declared illegal in Belgium and South Korea's fair trade commission has levied fines against companies for monetization practices. It's unclear if similar events could take place once things smooth over, but it would make sense.

“China’s whole online gaming industry is having some issues -- not only because of regulation but also because Chinese gamers are becoming more mature and selective,” Shawn Yang, executive director for Blue Lotus Capital Advisors, said on Bloomberg Television.

Part of the freeze is affecting Tencent's desktop versions of PUBG and Fortnite in the region as well as PUBG mobile. Tencent even had to pull Monster Hunter: World from its WeGame service due to licensing. We'll check in on this story as it develops, so stay tuned to Shacknews for additional updates.

News Editor

Charles Singletary Jr keeps the updates flowing as the News Editor, breaking stories while investigating the biggest topics in gaming and technology. He's pretty active on Twitter, so feel free to reach out to him @The_CSJR. Got a hot tip? Email him at

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