The Publicity Department of the CPC Central Committee is piloting a new aspect of game licensing to add a Game Evaluation and Rating Guidelines system. The pilot system was announced March 15th and launched April 1, 2021. The new Game Evaluation and Rating Guidelines system is an addition to the existing process, which all games go through in hope of being granted an ISBN license to launch in China. Nothing changes with regards to the existing regulations for content and monetization, or for any of the other existing policies for games. A game will go through the current submission measures and if those are satisfied, it will be ushered through the new Game Evaluation and Rating system.

The Game Evaluation and Rating system will be carried out by review board of experts evaluating game content and assigning a score between 0 and 5 for five distinct categories: Value orientation, original design, production quality, cultural content and development stage. If a game scores 0 points in any of the categories it will be immediately sent back for rectification, regardless of the scores in other categories. The Publicity Department of the CPC Central Committee has two experts score the game during the rating process. This process starts after the initial approval process, and we believe this will lead to longer overall approval times for games. The aim is to improve the game evaluation and feedback process, strengthen the game approval process and promote quality games that are in line with values endorsed by the government.

Our China Games Regulations and Business report has been updated to include this new policy, adding to the comprehensive coverage of the regulatory landscape. The report is the central resource for understanding all of the regulations, agencies, and administrators that impact the industry and also details all of the content requirements, steps in the submissions process, and other requirements for launching a game in China. We have also included a section that helps developers understand all of their options for launching a game, how to choose the right partner and how to best negotiate with Chinese game publishers.