Gamers rejoice! Beginning this month, China’s Ministry of Culture will begin to make changes in its approval process for online and mobile games, possibly lessening the strict regulations on what it constitutes inappropriate content, South China Morning Post reports. Baby steps?
Li Jianwei, head of the Ministry of Culture’s Internet Commerce department, said that the upcoming changes would make the approval process for games more streamlined than it had been in the past, and Software developers interviewed by Guangzhou Daily said that a potential reduction of censorship in China’s video game industry would be ideal for business, and would allow products to reach players faster.
In the case of hugely popular online fantasy game World of Warcraft, this is fantastic news. In the past, games with overly sexual or violent themes were simply denied release in mainland China, forcing game developers to make intensive changes.
Prior WOW’s China release in 2007, all skeletons and undead characters within the game had to be removed or graphically altered, a mountainous feat. According to a Southern Metropolis Daily article from that year, this was done to “promote a healthy and harmonious online environment.”
While this is a big step for Chinese gaming, I still don’t think China will be allowing Grand Theft Auto through the doors anytime soon.
By Lauren Holdcroft
[Image via Flickr]