According to CCTV, a news site owned and run by the Chinese government, a committee called Online Game Ethics was set up on the 7th of December. This board belongs to the Propaganda Department, and the appointed members are online gaming experts, selected students from universities, and the media.
CCTV also revealed that the committee had looked into 20 online game titles and pointed up 11 names that require improvements from their developers to prevent “ethical risks” from happening. The government will not issue game access numbers for the other 9. These numbers are only for games that have Chinese state’s approval to be launched in China.
The previous reports from other media sites which claimed that the Chinese government has suppressed many esports like Fortnite and PUBG were proven untrue. The names of these 20 games have not been out yet, but we have had a few clues to rule out some titles. Tencent said that it had no connection to the 20 games being investigated, according to Thepapper. Another source that claimed to have access to Perfect World Entertainment’s information reassured that the company had no game on the list. For the time being, there is not much to count on to find out who was on the Online Game Ethics Committee and what its rules are.
The Chinese Government in March withheld all approvals regarding granting game access numbers. This action came down to concern over their impact on children’s well-being. The issue is mostly about the worry that the constant use of electrical devices might have a negative effect on the young’s eyesight.
Last year, Tencent Games took a step to deal with this problem. This measure is to allow children under 12 years old only 1 hour per day to play while those between 12 and 18 can play for up to 2 hours daily. To enforce this limitation, a playtime restriction and facial recognition were applied. At first, it was used on Honor of Kings, but in October, all Tencent games are under this system.
However, this new regulation does not mean the Chinese government opposes the thriving of esports in the country. Both Shanghai and Hangzhou show their support for this kind of entertainment by approving Steam China and setting up an esports town complex. The Chinese government also put together a team to compete in an esports event in Jakarta Palembang this year.