For the past 14 years, China has placed a ban on video game consoles, but naturally this did not stop grey imports and black market sales from happening, but the good news is that if the reports are to be believed, the ban could be coming to an end, or has at least been lifted for now. According to a report from Reuters, they claim that console manufacturers are now free to make consoles in Shanghai’s free trade zone without restriction, and sell them within China’s market as well. There is of course a caveat, which is that these console manufacturers will have to get permission from the Chinese State Council. It sounds relatively straightforward but given that China has spend the past decade or so banning said devices, we expect that there could be several hurdles manufacturers will face if they wish to get permission from the government.
While there might be potential hurdles to overcome, this is also good news for companies such as Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft, who might be able to start making and selling their Wii U, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One units freely. While China has allowed video games, they have placed restrictions on developers in a bid to make games seem less violent. Games such as World of Warcraft had to remove skull imagery from the game, as well as remove traces of blood from the game or replace it with something less gruesome.