What the end of China's ban on console games means for MMORPGs

After a fifteen-year-long ban, China’s gamers will soon be able to freely obtain console games across the country. MMORPG developers might have to step up their game.

China's Ministry of Culture announced last week that they will be officially lifting the ban that had heavily restricted the manufacture and sales of games for both foreign and domestic console makers for the past fifteen years.

Despite the ban, China has one of the largest gaming markets in the world, with a worth of about $13 billion in 2013.

Since they are prohibited from playing console games, China’s gamers (which Newzoo games market research estimates number about 173.4 million) are consequently big fans of mobile games and PC games.  The massive multi-player online role-playing games (MMORPG) such as League of Legends and Dragon’s Sword Online (made by China-based NetEase Games) are especially popular.

While these numbers are expected to only increase now that the restrictions on consoles have been lifted, it does mean that online gaming companies as well as home-grown console makers like Eedoo, will have to compete with against the likes of Sony, Nintendo and Microsoft from now on.

Published Jul. 28th 2015
View Comments
  • GetterG
    I don't think the mmo market has to worry too much considering the money many gamers has already invested in some of the mmos in question. The so called ban hasn't really stopped mainstream gaming in china anyway, so the only difference would be for the next generation of gamers and the retailers, which may actually help the economy in china. the main issue I believe is if the console market can compete with the pc one as many gamers in.china prefer mmos and the ability to socialise via their systems more.

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