Riot Games' Valorant will be available to play in the country, the National Press and Publication Administration in China announced today.
Riot Games’ Valorant will be available to play in the country, the National Press and Publication Administration in China announced today. VALORANT, along with another five titles by Chinese conglomerate Tencent owned by Riot Games, was approved by the video game regulatory body, meaning gamers in the country will finally have access to the games.Until now, players had to use a virtual private network and connect to a server in Hong Kong to play the game. Despite the restrictions, a number of professional teams have flourished, such as Edward Gaming, which took part in Champions earlier this year.
China’s video game market boomed last August due to the temporary suspension of video game licenses in the country. Even before the ban, the Chinese government had implemented strict measures, limiting the amount of time young people could spend on video games.According to a November report from CNBC, the harsher restrictions have seen children spend less time on video games, along with the China Game Industry Group Committee, as well as research firm CNG.
China has approved the release of 44 international games in the country, including popular esports titles Valorant and Pokémon Unite. As first reported by Reuters, The National Press and Publication Administration (NPPA) published the list of approved sports in China, marking the end of an 18-month moratorium on the approval process for international sports.
China is one of the major market players for video game companies, with Riot benefiting from the game’s 27 servers in China, which have allowed millions of players to access the title. Regulatory changes mean players should now be able to access their own servers without using a virtual private network, but that’s still up in the air.Tencent Holdings will publish the five approved games, including Valorant and Pokemon Unite. The decision to lift the ban on international games is a major development for the Chinese gaming industry and companies such as Tencent and NetEase Inc, which were hit by the approval freeze.
Regulators resumed issuing sports licenses for domestic sports in April, and the approval of overseas sports was seen as the last regulatory curb to be removed.Unlike most other countries, video games require approval from regulators before they can be released in China, the world’s largest gaming market.Beijing’s year-long crackdown on the industry has dealt a significant blow to Chinese tech companies including Tencent and NetEase Inc (9999.HK),who derive substantial revenue from the publication of both self-developed and imported games.
In addition to Valorant and Pokémon Unite, other approved foreign games include CD Projekt Red’s Gwent, Plarium’s Raid: Shadow Legends and Clay Entertainment’s Don’t Starve. The approval of these games, along with 84 domestic games approved this month, suggests the Chinese government may be easing restrictions on the gaming industry.