Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Banned Games Still Likely After China's Lift On Consoles

As China's video game system ban is lifted, it's to be expected that the country will draft out rules on what is, and is not appropriate for sale. I mean...it's China. Need we say more? The Ministry of Culture has stated that the rules are being written as quickly as possible, but there is no set timeline on when they will be ready for release. Products that are "hostile" to China in terms of content and imagery will not be allowed, and all content is expected to be heavily regulated. Battlefield 4, for example, was labeled as a threat to China's national security last month. So yeah...that's banned. Probably anything to do with any form of violence, so no Call of Duty or GTA (but who's really surprised about that?) And I'm going to bet that Katamari wouldn't make the list either. Random, but it's not. The Katamari games tend to focus on the Japanese identity with food, games, and even the people. There is very little to no mention of China-in fact one of the few times that you do see it, you roll it up in order to get your Katamari into space. I imagine that's not the type of image China wants to have broadcasted to children in their country. So I'm not expecting a slew of games will get the stamp of approval.

It's a chance for the country to at least breathe a little bit of the entertainment and commedity that has been prosperous for many (and a chance for the government to get a piece of the action-just think about the black market and how much money would be removed by taxing games instead in a legal fashion). And since China's announcement, shares with Ubisoft and Nintendo have gone up; Sony is already in talks of trying to expand their foothold in the marketplace with the new freedom. Even Microsoft is working with BestTV, based in Shanghai, on a multi-million dollar partnership. It's a lot to look forward to, but I'm not surprised to read that there will be regulations out the butt. China will make Australia's video game laws look lax by comparison.

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