Following the lift on China’s 14-year-old ban on consoles, its Ministry of Culture (a governmental organisation that monitors media and its contents) will soon be drafting up new rules on how videogame consoles will integrate into China’s society.
According to Bloomberg, the head of the ministry, Cai Wu, said in a press conference in Beijing that, “The rules will be written as soon as possible.” No specific time frame was mentioned as to when these rules will be written up.
Initially put in place back in 2000, consoles were banned from China in order to protect youths from a perceived corrupting influence. 14 years later, the ban was lifted in China’s new free-trade zone located in Shanghai as regulators ponder how console hardware and software may be approved for sale within the country. Under certain rules of the free-trade zone, however, things that are “hostile to China” will still be filtered out, explaining it with a rather apt analogy.
“Things that are hostile to China, or not in conformity with the outlook of China’s government, won’t be allowed,” Wu said. “We want to open the window a crack to get some fresh air, but we still need a screen to block the flies and mosquitoes.”
For the longest time within China mobile and internet games were the norm, so those who wanted to play games still could play games. With the lift of the console ban, gamers in China may be introduced to a broader selection of games to choose from. What’s more, also according to Bloomberg, this also potentially gives leading companies like Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo access to China’s gaming market, a share allegedly worth $10 billion.
The three companies are already looking at opportunities for what to do in China’s free-trade zone. According to Bloomberg, Nintendo and Sony are currently studying the situation and looking for opportunities for what can be done within the zone, whilst Microsoft and a subsidiary of Shanghai Media Group have already put together a $79 million gaming venture in order to take advantage of the soon-to-be-written-up new rules.