All games affected by China's monetization ban

Azur lane, PUBG and Genshin Impact
What are the games affected by China's monetization ban on video games? (Images via Tencent, Yostar and HoYoverse)

In a surprise move, the Chinese government has released a series of heavy restrictions on games, affecting their monetization techniques. These restrictions include an outright ban on events such as daily log-in bonuses, top-up incentives, and loot boxes. The ban impacts all titles, regardless of their release date—past, present, and future—within China. If enforced, it could lead to significant consequences for established industry leaders like Tencent.

You can find a list of popular titles that are likely to be affected by this monetization ban below.

Note: Parts of this article are subjective and reflect the author’s opinions.


All you need to know about China’s restrictions on video games

As detailed by Chinese regulators yesterday, restrictions related to video game monetization are set to be introduced sometime soon. The restrictions include the following:

  • Daily log-in bonuses in games will be discontinued.
  • First-time top-up bonuses will not be allowed.
  • Sales, etc, for in-game items against real-world currency will also be banned.
  • Loot boxes and gacha items cannot be offered to minors. Additionally, these in-game items cannot be sold off or traded.
  • Players will be restricted from overspending, with a definite spending limit being set for each game.
  • All video game publishers must have their servers based locally in China if they wish to continue operating in the country.
  • All loot boxes must offer the option to purchase the desirable items of choice without delving into the lotto.

The changes are meant to crack down on in-game purchases and reduce time spent on video games. The announcement has already affected major players such as Tencent and Netease, with the former reporting a sizable decrease in shares.

While the extent and fallout of the ban are still unknown at this point, it will likely have long-term repercussions for China’s gaming community.

It should be kept in mind that these restrictions will only affect titles in China, with the rest of the world being (mostly) unaffected as of now. Publishers in China will very likely have to implement these changes immediately or risk a blanket ban on their products in the country.


All games expected to be affected by the ban

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A multitude of titles are expected to be affected by this ban, with free-to-play titles (such as mobile games) being affected the most. A list of all such titles that are speculated to be affected by the ban are listed below:

  • PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds Mobile (PUBG)
  • Garena FreeFire
  • Azur Lane
  • Girls Frontline
  • Arknights
  • Genshin Impact
  • Honkai Impact 3rd
  • Honkai Star Rail
  • Other miscellaneous free-to-play titles

Check out our Esports and Gaming section for additional news and updates.

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Edited by Siddharth Satish
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