China to lift 13-year ban on video game console sales

By on September 27, 2013, 5:00 PM

China has now officially approved proposals that will see the 13 year ban on the sale of gaming consoles come to an end, opening up a massive market for Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo to tap into.

The console ban was put in place back in 2000 due in large part to concerns regarding the influence violent and mature games could have on Chinese youth. Back at the beginning of this year, and then later in the summer, rumors surfaced regarding China lifting the long running ban.

The approved plans that will lead to lifting the ban are part of a broader proposal surrounding the free-trade zone located in Shanghai. This is the same zone where the State Council was once reported to be lifting bans on Facebook and Twitter, but there was no talk of relaxed internet access in the latest reports.

Game developers and game console retailers must be set-up within the free-trade zone, and pending official approval they will be able to sell their products to the mainland market. Microsoft is already jumping on board, having struck up a deal with Chinese company BesTV to develop games in the free trade zone.

With the free trade zone in Shanghai set to launch on September 29, the lifting of the ban could amount to billions of dollars in revenue for the game industry, according to analysts. China's game industry brought in around $9.7 billion last year, a number expected to climb as high as $21.7 billion by 2017.

Even with such high expectations on the Chinese game market, with a customer base who has now grown up on PC and mobile gaming experiences, many are questioning how well the consoles will latch on in the region.

User Comments: 11

Got something to say? Post a comment
Guest said:

Just in time for ZTE to announce their new Z-Box ;)

Guest said:

Glad I don't live in China.

JC713 JC713 said:

It is about time.

gibbstar gibbstar said:

Shoulda bought some stocks in Sony!

1 person liked this | gamoniac said:

The best way set them back -poison the mind! Muahaha...

AlienOverlord said:

I've been living in China for years and bought a PS3 a few months after its release. Its never been hard to get consoles here, but you couldn't find them in major retailers. Its even easier now since I can order games online. However, there is a huge market because none of the kids even know what a PS3 is.

I hope this means I'll have a steadier online connection since I often get signed out of PSN.

spydercanopus spydercanopus said:

They should start with NES

Guest said:

Bad move - most titles suck anyway won't be doing kiddies any favours.

Guest said:

"The console ban was put in place back in 2000 due in large part to concerns regarding the influence violent and mature games could have on Chinese youth", they lift the ban not long after GTA V release, what a perfect timing :D

Guest said:

Im sure there will be games china will add to a banlist yet. Still, though, people feel much more inspired to do things after watching a movie and not so much video games. Usually when violent action happens in movies it's a far bigger "WOAH!" or... "inspiring" factor than doing the same or similar things over and over in video games. It might just be me but I feel like movies such as rob zombie films or action films probably have a far bigger mental impact on people than video games. Sane or insane.

Skidmarksdeluxe Skidmarksdeluxe said:

Just think of all the babies coming out the womb playing GTA V.

Load all comments...

Add New Comment

TechSpot Members
Login or sign up for free,
it takes about 30 seconds.
You may also...
Get complete access to the TechSpot community. Join thousands of technology enthusiasts that contribute and share knowledge in our forum. Get a private inbox, upload your own photo gallery and more.