China approves third batch of video games, Tencent still absent
China's publishing regulator on Tuesday approved the release of a third batch of video games after a freeze for most of last year, with industry-leader Tencent still absent from the list of new titles.
The State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television approved 93 games in its third list since last December, with Tencent's domestic rival NetEase also absent for the third time.
China is home to the world's largest video game market, where 620 million players spent 37.9 billion U.S. dollars last year mostly on mobile and PC games, showed data from gaming market researcher Newzoo.
But authorities stopped approving the release of new titles from March last year amid regulatory overhaul triggered by growing concern about violent content and game addiction, particularly among young players.
Tencent, the country's market leader in terms of gaming revenue, both produces and distributes games. Its fantasy multi-player role-playing battle game, Honour of Kings, is the top-grossing mobile game in China.
Including Tuesday's batch, the regulator has approved 257 games since December when it resumed processing applications after an almost year-long hiatus. Before the freeze, in January alone last year, the regulator approved 716 titles.
With two weeks separating the latest batch from the previous batch on January 9, "Tencent and NetEase will likely have to wait until after the Lunar New Year holiday" running February 4 to 10, said a NetEase executive, who was not authorized to speak with media on the matter and so declined to be identified.