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Chinese agencies taking stake in online gaming

Eliot Lefebvre

It's ironic that just as the GDC in Shanghai is getting into motion, the Chinese government is making some moves regarding the future of online games in China. It's a sweeping change, at that -- the General Administration of Press and Publication, the regulator of games in China, made a declaration officially preventing any foreign companies from operating a game in China, through joint ventures or otherwise. The move is fairly clearly intended to prevent any foreign companies from muscling in on China's lucrative online gaming market, but it's possible that liberal interpretations of "investors" might even include foreign players on Chinese servers.

However, the GAPP's declaration isn't the end of the story. As it turns out, the Chinese Ministry of Culture is at odds with this announcement, claiming that the authority to make such decisions passed to them on the seventh of September. Tuo Zu Hai, the vice director of the Ministry of Culture's Market Department, said he was "shocked to hear the news", indicating that there was a communication lapse between the two agencies and the ultimate resolution is still up in the air. It's unsure of how much impact this will have on NetEase, whose recent acquisition of World of Warcraft was a major coup for the company and who would be directly affected if Blizzard was blocked from interacting with them.

[ via GamePolitics ]

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