• China becomes more strict with mobile game developers in new IP registration rule.

China becomes more strict with mobile game developers in new IP registration rule. (Photo : Getty Images)

One of China’s top regulators requires approval of every mobile game in the country in a new rule that took effect on July 1, leaving some worried about its effects in the industry.

According to the Global Times, the new rule from the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television (SAPPRFT) is expected to make mobile gaming better for developers by protecting them from copycats.

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Unfortunately, there is also reason to believe that the new policy might affect the boom of the sector, particularly the part that it may hinder the developers' creative juices from flowing.

New Rule

Starting July 1, all mobile games are subjected to the new regulation which requires that all games published before that date would be removed if they failed to apply for legal status before Oct. 1.

It also requires companies to report any changes to the approved games to the regulator in order to gain approval from any "relevant provincial publication administrative department."

Game developers are now also obliged to include a page dedicated to the legal certificates of the mobile game that should show the publishers, copyright owners, approval number, as well as the publication serial number.

There is also a timeline that should be adhered to during the application process. This includes the limited period of publication from the date of approval of application.

Furthermore, applications should be pre-approved 20 days prior to the launch of the game in the country, per Slash Gear.

Boom in Applications

The rule introduced on June 2 via Tech Sina spurred more applications for intellectual property rights from game developers.

Some of them admitted that the new policy has resulted in a busier year for them. Others take advantage of the situation and offer help with a cost to other companies.

"We will help you fix the game until it can pass the examination, so that we can get you the publication number, no matter where you are in China," explained Xiao Na, an employee from a firm that offers expertise in getting IP numbers for mobile games.

According to Kotaku, the new rule will cover all mobile games, but it would have a bigger effect on story-based games.

"Application approval is contingent on storyline, content, character features, etc. and publications involving political, military, ethnic or religious subjects are restricted," the outlet quoted a part of the rule.