Although Chinese game market is exploding and is now one of the biggest market of video games, it may also be one of the most tough markets for foreign game developers and publishers to enter.
Chinese government announced last week that all digital products, including books, photos, music, map, animation, videos and games, can only be published in China by companies with 100% Chinese shareholders.
In the past, foreign game developers or publishers can choose to build up a joint company with more than 50% Chinese shareholders in the company, which means foreigner companies were able to keep certain level of control in business operation in China so far, but foreign companies will lose all control soon in next month.
So far in game industry, it has been necessary, especially for distribution and promotion, to find a Chinese publisher to release your game in China. Now the wall will become even higher from this coming March.
Although Chinese government stated that this new law is for “national security” reasons, it’s not too difficult to imagine the potential reason of keeping money in China and avoiding the competition of foreign digital products.