China adding new restrictions on online games August 1

Though China's online game market continues to exponentially increase in value, the nation's Ministry of Culture plans on slapping another round of restrictive regulations on MMOs and other online titles on August 1. The new regulations are designed to protect minors from "unwholesome" content while playing online, while also introducing measures which will prevent them from succumbing to the sweet, sweet siren song of online gaming addiction.

One major rule in the new regulations limits the purchase of in-game goods and services to virtual cash -- a regulation which seems to do away with the microtransaction business model altogether. Moreover, minors aren't permitted to conduct virtual transactions whatsoever. So, when you see that level 80 Mage that's still sporting his starting gear, don't be too confused -- he's probably just 14 years old.