China to Lift Console Ban – Video Game Market Boom!

China is in the midst's of possibly lifting their current 13-year foreign console ban.

The Verge has reported that China is in the process of lifting their 13-year foreign console ban. This would be great news to any game developer and console company, since they’ll get to sell more products. Upon this agreement though, it will open the market in Shanghai’s new free trade zone. Not to mention it will also stimulate China’s economy.

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Under what terms will consoles become available?

China’s Ministry of Culture has made it very apparent they will have to approve each foreign console prior to sale, which could also mean every game. Keep in mind, when China put in the console ban back in June 2000, they did it for their people. The China Ministry of Culture didn’t want video games to consume the lives of their young generation, and they found most of them to be very violent. A very bold move to ban foreign consoles, but very understandable since it was for their country.

A statement was issued today that will hopefully shed some light upon the ban being lifted:

“foreign companies will be able to sell consoles across the entire country as long as they have established production and sales operations in the free trade zone”.

Being this as a type of ‘green light’ to sell foreign consoles, many developers might have to jump through hoops to get them approved by China’s Ministry of Culture. All products will have to be produced within Shanghai as part of the approval.

Since the console ban has been put into effect, the only question that remains unanswered is when this lift will happen. We could be looking at a few more years of the ban, depending on China’s Ministry of Culture.

What do you guys think about this ban being lifted? I find that if Microsoft and Sony can sell more products, they might be able to develop new technology, and even more games. This could bring a large video game boom in the future. Share your opinion in a comment below!


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Courtney Gamache
An online college student studying Business Administration and International Business at SNHU. I play a lot of different games, but I prefer management ones, including Minecraft, RollerCoaster Tycoon, Borderlands, and Assassin's Creed.