In China, it is now forbidden to livestream unauthorized games. This is a new step in the widespread suppression of the gaming industry to clean up content that is not approved by the government. The country’s National Radio and Television Administration has stated that platforms of all kinds should not broadcast games that are not approved by the relevant authorities, according to Reuters.
In particular, streams of foreign games or competitions cannot be held without permission, and the authorities argue that live broadcasts must oppose the “abnormal aesthetics” and harmful culture of celebrity worship.
“Over a period of time, issues such as the chaotic online broadcast and adolescent gambling have caused widespread public concern and urgent action is needed,” the Chinese regulator said in a statement.
Daniel Ahmad, a senior analyst at research firm Niko Partners, said that while unlicensed games can not be officially released in mainland China, many have been advertised on streaming platforms such as Huya, DouYu and Bilibili.
“Earlier this year, Elden Ring was a hit on Chinese game live streaming platforms reaching 17.1 million cumulative daily average viewers, despite not having a license,” he said.
Last year, China introduced new rules that limit the amount of time that children under the age of 18 can spend on video games up to three hours a week, which the Chinese government believes is necessary to combat gambling addiction.
Only this week, the regulator lifted the freeze on the issuance of new gaming licenses in China. This happened only after gaming companies have made major changes in their business practices. They were asked to remove content that is violent, could promote “wealth celebration” or promote “celebrity worship.”
China’s largest gaming company Tencent Holdings Ltd has already announced that it will close a service that allowed Chinese gamers to play unauthorized foreign games on foreign platforms.