Games News

Tencent tightening up age control in China once more

Tencent Games
Logo of Chinese game developer Tencent Games
Tencent Games

Tencent are tightening their age controls in China once more, prompted by the country's concern for the health of minors. From now on, children's playtime in China will be controlled up until the age of 16, rather than the earlier 13.

Tencent's system for policing game time initially started with the age limit of 12, which has been increased to 13, but the system they're planning to introduce next has extended this to 16 years of age.

Players under this age are subject to daily restrictions of two hours of playing time, stemming from the Chinese government's concerns over an alarming percentage of nearsightedness in children, as well as overall health.

Of course, Tencent's limitations are not the only restriction underage players need to clear, as they need parental consent to play in the first place. Players over 16 can play regularly though.

In a post on Weibo, Tencent stated that their earlier system has already proven successful and that they hope the new one will be a direct upgrade, as they put great value in both children's health and following government regulations.

Unfortunately, the government's regulations haven't really been great for Tencent business-wise, as the company lost a huge chunk of value due to the restrictions. 

The same set of regulations meant that new game launches were put on hold, and it wasn't until recently that Tencent and NetEase had some of their upcoming games approved.

The State Administration of Press and Publications (SAPP) approved 95 games on 13 January 2019, and while it didn't contain high profile names such as Fortnite or PUBG, at least the process has been restarted.

Apparently, there's a hefty backlog of games to be approved, and all the parties involved are hoping for a tempo of 2-3 thousand approvals annually. 

Tencent GamesLogo of Chinese game developer Tencent GamesArena of Valor, i.e. Honor of Kings in China

Newzoo's recent report on top 25 public gaming companies has Tencent in the absolute top. In fact, the publishing giant's revenue amounted to 15 per cent of the total global market, which really says enough of just how big and significant the company is.