Update on game license approvals in China – Q1 2021

Last month, 33 new imported games were approved for sale in China. So far this year, 287 total games have been approved, with 254 of those being domestic games. Last year, a total of 1214 games were granted game licenses in the country, including 97 imported games. If this year’s first quarter trend continues, we are looking at a similarly low ratio of imported to domestic game approvals for 2021.

china game license approvals chart

Pokémon Quest and Super Mario Party were approved for Switch this year, adding two more games to the console’s paltry lineup of only 13 approved titles so far. Despite the low number of officially available Switch games in China, the console continues to grow in popularity, as it has moved one million units in China since its launch in December 2019.

Grey market games appear to be behind the success of the Switch in China, as wildly popular Switch exclusives in China, such as Animal Crossing: New Horizons and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, have yet to be approved by the NPPA.

Pokemon Quest is the first mobile Pokemon game to be approved in China. Other popular game license approvals included Diablo Immortal, League of Legends: Wild Rift, EVE Echoes, War of the Visions: Final Fantasy Brave Exvius, Rayman Legends, and Heroes of Might and Magic.

Current trends demonstrate the growing need for getting your game license application in early. The geopolitical landscape and its effects on global trade often trickle down to the tech sector as well, which means that these trends could change at any time. With government approval times between six months to a year, and no fast-track options available for even the largest companies, we suggest getting your game license application in as soon as possible with an experienced and reputable Chinese partner.

Contact AppInChina today to find out how you can get your console, iOS, Android, or HTML game in China the easy way, and break through to this lucrative and rapidly-expanding market.

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