A new draft of rules from the National Press and Publication Administration could spell disaster for the Chinese gaming market, as it offers regulations to lessen spending and rewards in video games.
In an attempt to curb addiction and excessive spending, a set of potential new rules effectively set limits for online games and looks to ban games from giving daily log-in rewards, or rewards for spending time in games.
This could deal a huge blow to the biggest game market, which grows year on year with new releases coming out. Some companies have already faced the brunt of this, with shares of Tencent Holdings – China’s biggest gaming company – falling 13% – and NetEase falling a huge 28%. Figures are correct at the time of writing. Whether these drops hold, or the companies recover, is yet to be seen.
According to a translation, games that use lootboxes and gacha need to have reasonable rates and provide players with an alternative that offers the same performance that can be directly purchased. What this spells for the likes of Genshin Impact and Honkai Star Rail is interesting – would it mean a separate game for worldwide and Chinese markets, or would a purchasable, full version of the game release to all markets? Then, what happens to those who have already spent money on the game?
This could mean that, taking Hoyoverse titles as an example, players could purchase five-star characters outright instead of paying for currencies and aiming to get the unit in the gacha system.
For now, these are just drafts of the rules, and opinions are being collected as to the workability of them, so don’t take this as gospel. When we know more, we’ll give an update. Credit goes to Josh Ye at Reuters for laying out this situation.