China’s video game regulatory authority on Monday granted publication licenses to 45 games, including those from giant Baidu and party star, from developer XD, ending a nine-month freeze that has affected many of the country’s tech behemoths.
Other companies in the industry whose games have been given the green light include iDreamSky, 37Games, Shenzhen Zqgame and Yoozoo Games, according to a list published by the National Press and Public Affairs Administration on its website.
Shares of U.S.-listed Chinese online gaming groups NetEase and Bilibili jumped 8% and 8.6% respectively in pre-market trading.
Regulators in China had stopped licensing all new online titles in the country as of July 2021. This decision had considerable effects on many companies, including the giant Tencent (Honor of Kings), and NetEase (LifeAfter), and led to thousands of bankruptcies in the video game industry.
The break coincided with China’s decision in August to impose new online game time limits for under-18s. Underage players are limited to three hours of video games per week online, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays only.
This strict intervention was necessary to end growing problems with video game addiction, a “mental opium”, according to Beijing.
Epic Games had decided to close the servers of its game Fortnite in China in mid-November 2021 without giving any explanation.