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China Bans Streaming of Games Not Approved

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By michael_fuchsDate: Dec 20 2016 Views:

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Earlier we announced that China’s Ministry of Cultural Information had announced that it would be cracking down on MMORPG lockboxes. It seems that the Ministry of Cultural Information isn’t done shaking up the industry this month.
One of the Ministry’s duties as an agency has it choosing what imagery can (and cannot) be shown in a video game. In order to market a game in the country, as World of Warcraft does, a company’s game must be approved by the Ministry. This can often be a long, expensive, and difficult process. World of Warcraft, for example, had to make changes to models and content within the game in order to be approved. Chinese indie developers had found a way around this restriction to marketing – if you streamed the game, you didn’t need approval.

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Unfortunately for the indie scene, the Ministry of Cultural Information has now banned the streaming of unapproved games. That includes indie games and games on Steam from United States publishers who have not sought approval from the government.
While the Ministry’s earlier cracking down of lockboxes was seen as extremely favorable by many parties, outlooks are grim regarding this recent announcement. It is almost certain that the impact the announcement has on gaming in China will be significant.

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