China has unveiled a raft of new rules governing the content of video games, including a ban on poker and Mahjong titles.
The restrictions, unveiled by the recently created State Administration of Press and Publication this month, also outlaws games based around China’s imperial history and any display of blood or corpses. However, the ban on poker and Mahjong is likely to be particularly damaging with video game research firm Niko Partners estimating that 37% of the 8,561 games approved in China in 2017 were based on the popular card and tile games, according to Tech Crunch.
he outright ban follows a crackdown on online poker applications this time last year, which required all apps featuring any form of social poker game to be shut down and removed from app stores. Authorities announced at the time that poker would no longer be recognized as a competitive sport.
While larger online video gaming operators like Tencent should have the resources to adapt, it is anticipated that many smaller operators will be forced to fold due to the significant expense involved in bringing current gaming portfolios up to code.