The reports are coming in the China does away with bans on video game consoles. The Chinese Ministry of Culture has given a statement which has been reported in the Wall Street Journal earlier today. Now, the three major console producers will be allowed on the Chinese market.
Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo are probably celebrating now the victory in a literal war against the strange ways of the Chinese government. This war had started long ago, back in 2000, when China decided to ban video game consoles for fear of them having a profound negative effect on children, both mentally and physically.
The ban did not include only consoles, but also video games produced for them, as well as many video games made for PC, the only possibility of gaming that remained for many Chinese people. Because of this ban, not only were they not allowed to purchase consoles, but even the PC games which would be sold had to first pass rigorous testing, and in many cases changes to the game had to be made. Apparently, anything remotely too violent had to be cut out. So no blood, no gore. Sorry, Doom 3 fans.
Still, in an effort to show at least some progressive mentality, China has just last year permitted console makers to sell some of their consoles in the Shanghai Free Trade Zone. The problem remained that consoles to be sold there had to also be made there. This involved opening new facilities to build them right in Shanghai.
This was a devilish, albeit smart and cunning plan by the Chinese authorities to bring in new jobs for the people in that area and effectively boost the already humongous economy of the country. However, the producers were not immediately on board with this idea, as Sony stated back in 2014 when the ban was partially lifted, that there no immediate plans to expand to that area.
After the companies eventually did as the Chinese wanted, they had to further receive approval for every sale from fiscal regulators, as well as having every single console inspected for suspicious signs.
But the long war is done, and the battle long is won, as after 15 years of restrictions, Microsoft, Nintendo, and Sony are free to sell their consoles in China. That is, the consoles that they build in China, for the ban still holds for consoles produced elsewhere. Still, there may also be a mentality issue, as this ban has effectively created a monopoly situation for PC games.
Image source: ibtimes.com