Video games are now a driving force in the entertainment industry. It has impacted the world in the past 2 decades through different platforms like gaming consoles, arcades, personal computers, handheld devices, and more. It is a massive industry that involves sales, imports/exports, and even playing tournaments. The country that has embraced this industry and has been the top country in terms of gaming revenue is China. China has garnered revenue of $27.54 billion because of gaming.
Next to China on the list are world giants as well in the United States and Japan coming in second and third respectively. China generated the most revenues than the two other countries because of its entire population, and its internet population as well, dominating that of the other two countries. Also, Chinese gamers are not focused on one platform. The three popular platforms that Chinese gamers play to are gaming consoles, personal computers, and cell phones. Ironically, gaming consoles were once banned in China. In fact, the ban was only lifted a few years ago. However, this event led to a rise in Chinese interest in online gaming.
In the year 2000, the Chinese government made manufacturing, selling, and playing gaming consoles illegal. Gaming consoles like the Playstation, Xbox, and Nintendo were banned in mainland China. The Chinese government’s aim was to save the youth of wasting their time and their minds in playing video games. However, after the ban was raised, online gaming became a thing. The market size of online gaming in China reached an amount of $100 million. Ultimately, the ban of gaming consoles did not solve the problem of video gaming addiction.
However, after fourteen years, China has softened up to the concept of selling gaming consoles in its land. After 14 years, China has lifted its ban on video games. This move can now let companies like Sony, and Microsoft to compete better in the China which is much dominated by gamers who prefer personal computers and mobile games. Also, this allows these companies to manufacture their products anywhere in China as well.
In fact, both Sony and Microsoft have invested in partnering with manufacturing companies in China in order to manufacture and sell their consoles on the mainland. China might be allowing gaming consoles to be made and sold in China, but the government would still be screening the content of the games being sold.
In China, video game developers should manufacture their games taking into consideration the relevant state policies. China is very strict game developers are only allowed to continue operating and selling in their country only if they introduce quality and healthy video games that comply with the nation’s conditions. China has banned a number of games in the past because of content.
An example of a game that China has banned is Hearts of Iron. The game was banned because the game implied to be distorting history and attacking the sovereignty of China. The Chinese are very sensitive when it comes to their history. Especially when it is a dark part of their history. In fact, there is a recent issue wherein a Japanese hotel company has published books that denied the Nanking massacre, a significant event in Chinese history. Incidents like these anger China because the nation values their past and respects the events that have happened to them which shaped them who they are today.
Another example of a game that was banned was Command & Conquer: Generals-Zero Hour. It was banned by Chinese officials because the game left a bad image of China and its army. The Chinese want its people to not have a negative connotation of their own country. Chinese officials do not to be viewed as bad guys by their people. They do not want their people to be polluted by the fake reality that video games are able to bring.
Video games are somewhat of a way of life in China. Game developers even launch games that are exclusively for China. The population and the fan base in China for such games are unreal. With this, the Chinese government puts in the effort to make sure that its people do not lose themselves to video games. They constantly find ways to ensure entertainment for its people and at the same time protecting their people from the negative impacts that video games have.