China tightening restrictions on mobile games starting next month

Starting July 1, mobile games sold in China’s App Store will have to meet the approval of the country’s State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television, China’s IT Times reports. The new regulations are a hurdle even for larger companies with the proper connections and resources, but are expected to have a devastating impact on smaller developers who could struggle to come up with the $2,000-$5,000 fee charged by a third-party partner to handle the necessary applications.
Games already on sale must be submitted for approval by Oct. 1. Domestic developers will go through a simplified review process, provided they submit their games at least 20 days in advance and those games contain little in the way of story with no sensitive political elements. Games meeting those standards are expected to be approved in less than a month. All other titles (including all foreign submissions) will require a “first hand tour type approval” — what sounds like a full play through of the game by a regulator — that would take “at least 38 days,” but with no real timeline for review promised. [via Tech in Asia]