Tags: china | video game | consoles | ban | lifted

China's Video Game Console Ban Lifted; Gamers Rejoice

Image: China's Video Game Console Ban Lifted; Gamers Rejoice
Microsoft’s Xbox, Sony’s PlayStation, and Nintendo’s Wii are now available for sale in China after the country lifted its video game console ban this week. (Johannes Eisele/AFP/Getty Images)

By    |   Monday, 27 Jul 2015 08:54 AM

China has lifted its video game ban that had been in effect since 2000, allowing citizens to legally join the gamer world and opening up a new market for gaming companies.

"We welcome the move," Sousuke Kamei, Sony Computer Entertainment representative, told The Associated Press. “We remain committed to delivering fun and exciting console gaming experiences to as many Chinese users as possible."

Both Sony and Microsoft have already announced that they plan to manufacture game consoles in China. Nintendo admits it is still “continuing [their] research and study about the China market," according to CNN.

China’s Ministry of Culture lifted the ban after deeming the Shanghai Free Trade Zone, a pilot economic reform program, successful. Before officials lifted the ban, the video game industry could only operate within the free trade zone established in 2013. Now, gaming consoles can be sold beyond the zone.

However, video game vendors must still operate under strict regulations. The Ministry of Culture requires manufacturers to acquire government-issued business licenses and to be careful not to send any messages that would “harm national unity . . . [or] violate public morality,” CNN reported. The government also still reserves the right to ban game titles they find politically controversial.

The move is good news for gaming manufacturers, as China’s $22.2 billion video game market grew 23 percent between this year and last year. Microsoft’s Xbox, Sony’s PlayStation, and Nintendo’s Wii are just some of the consoles expected to become commonplace in China.

The Chinese government initially set the ban, which is similar to those in place on Twitter, Facebook, Google, and other electronic media, under the claim that Chinese children spent too much time playing video games. Now, the country’s Communist leaders are endorsing entertainment and technology sectors to boost their rapidly growing economy.

The 15-year ban had a limited impact on the Chinese people’s access to video games and video game consoles. While the ban was in place, devoted gamers turned to the black market and underground suppliers to obtain the consoles and games they wanted.

The ban had also made way for online and mobile gaming industries in China. Gamers who did not want to go through the black market opted for PC and mobile gaming, which became popular amidst the console ban.

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China has lifted its video game ban that had been in effect since 2000, allowing citizens to legally join the gamer world and opening up a new market for gaming companies.
china, video game, consoles, ban, lifted
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2015-54-27
Monday, 27 Jul 2015 08:54 AM
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