China Bans International Online Gaming and Limits Global Services

China is once again setting multiple parameters for online gaming in a recent ban.

In addition to the nation’s notorious firewall, China set down new plans towards its goal of cracking down on video games with political censorship.

This means international online gaming will be banned for Chinese locals attempting to play or even chat with players residing outside of the country.

Animal Crossing Ban

The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) recently banned the popular Nintendo title Animal Crossing: New Horizons, because of allegations involving several players using the game’s features to advocate for the “Free Hong Kong” movement.

ACNH’s online functionality and customization pushed mainland China to arrive at such a decision.

Joshua Wong, a Hong Kong activist, was one of the first to reveal an image involving in-game political protests on April 2. And eventually, the game was banned on April 10.

Harshest Gaming Ban?

Considered as the harshest ban in the gaming scene, China is now imposing a total ban on international online gaming and plans on limiting global services.

According to news sources and the Liberty Times, a Taiwanese publication, the ban will consist of games that incorporate words like “kill, death, evil, doomsday, ghost, and zombies” in almost any form.

Games with character customization, guild systems, and open chats will be overseen by officials from the Chinese government to make sure these titles won’t promote ideals that would “promote the split of the motherland.”

Huang Jingchun, a Liberty Times reporter, further explained the nature of the said ban:

“The idea of ​​’promoting the split of the motherland’ confirmed in disguise that there are players gathering in Animal Crossing and satirizing the Chinese Communist Party and Xi Jinping, which is indeed the reason why this game was removed.”

“The draft of the ban has already appeared in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangdong, and other municipalities, and it is expected that it will be extended to all of China in the near future.”

Real Names, not Usernames

Players of various online games will be now forced to use their real names over nicknames or other creative usernames.

As long as the game has an online infrastructure, even if it’s minimal or optional, this rule is strictly to be implemented.

No More Global Service

The CCP also plans to ban worldwide servers in most game titles, limiting it to only mainland Chinese gamers and thus prohibiting any form of interaction with players from overseas.

Video game companies can no longer promote their “Global Service” functionality, with the CCP demanding that this feature in games must go offline and be completely deleted in time.

Nothing New

China is notorious for its strict gaming policies, even limiting the amount of playable time minors can spend on playing video games of any kind: 90 minutes per day and 3 hours on holidays.

As early as May of this year, the Chinese government also plans to test the software infrastructure and certain elements for titular games, focusing on  real-name authentication and minor monitoring systems.

This could set up new guidelines for many global online titles aiming to penetrate the Chinese gaming market.

Implementing these strict rules may change the gaming experience as most mainland players know it, and may leave lasting effects on the Chinese gaming scene.

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