China backs local game developers

Confirming a theme present at ChinaJoy, government officials put up millions to support homegrown games.

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Earlier this week, Reuters reported that a Chinese government spokesperson said the central Chinese government would fund local game development to the tune of $242 million. This news comes shortly after the government-sponsored online game expo ChinaJoy closed its doors in Shanghai.

"At present, the most popular online games are mainly from Korea and Japan," an official from the central government's Press and Publication Administration told Reuters. "We want our youth to experience traditional Chinese culture and education when they're playing online games."

Reportedly, government regulators, who must approve every game operated within the country, haven't approved a single foreign-developed game in two months. The Reuters piece says the delay has raised the specter of a "possible crackdown" by the government on foreign games. While the government is notorious about taking longer to approve foreign games, the two-month period without even one approval is unprecedented.

The Chinese market is renowned for localizing games from Korea and Taiwan--and supporting only a handful of titles that come from China-based studios.

Reportedly, the administration's investment would be directed toward funding development of 100 online games over the next four years, with China-based developers being offered tax breaks and other financial incentives.

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