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THE INVESTOR
April 24, 2019
Big Reunion

Mobile & Internet

China grants game licenses to overseas firms for 1st time in 13 months

  • PUBLISHED :April 03, 2019 - 16:08
  • UPDATED :April 03, 2019 - 16:08
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China’s content regulators have finally granted licenses to overseas game makers after a 13-month hiatus.

The State Administration of Press and Publications on April 2 released a list of new overseas game titles that have obtained commercial approval.

The approvals this time include games developed by US, European and Japanese game companies, including “Game of Thrones” and “Battlerite.”

Although the list did not include any games developed by South Korean publishers, it included two that local firms are involved with in a partnership with other game makers. 



Lantu Games, a joint venture between Longtu Korea and Line, was given the green light for “Crayon Shinchan Link Game.” New title “Compass” developed by NHN PlayArt, a Japanese subsidiary of NHN, and Dwango also received approval.

The news boosted shares of Longtu and NHN on April 3. Longtu, listed on the secondary Kosdaq market, soared 12.62 percent to close at 5,400 won. Kospi-listed NHN rose 3.41 percent or 3,000 won to 91,000 won, hitting a record high.

Analysts here said the recent approvals in the world’s largest game market is a positive sign for foreign game makers and the industry in general.

“Considering approvals have finally been given to overseas firms and games that Korean firms are involved with, China’s policy appears to be easing, which is a positive sign for the industry,” said Ahn Jae-min, an equity analyst with NH Investment and Securities.

It is unclear when Korea’s major game companies are likely to get a nod to release their popular games in China. Amid the decision to deploy the US THAAD anti-missile defense system here, China stopped approving Korean games in March 2017. 


“The list doesn’t include any Korean companies yet so it might be difficult to hold high expectations for a long time, but the present batch of approvals is certainly an upbeat sign for domestic companies,” Kiwoon Securities analyst Kim Hak-joon said.

Korean publishers that are waiting in line include PUBG’s “PlayerUnknown Battlegrounds,” NCSoft’s “Lineage Red Knights,” Pearl Abyss’ “Black Desert Online” and NetMarble’s “Lineage 2 Revolution” and “Blade and Soul Revolution.”

By Park Ga-young (gypark@heraldcorp.com)

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