Game developers for iOS have found their luck run out in China, as Apple stops updates for thousands of titles in the region’s store. The titles all lack a license from the Chinese government, with Apple halting these updates as the company receives mounting pressure to comply with local regulations.
The Financial Times reports that Apple’s biggest App Store market is China, with most of the $16.4 billion App Store revenue coming from games. The thing is, the Internet Content Provider licenses have been required for all paid-for apps or those with in-app purchases since 2016 for China, with licenses granted after government review. It can be appropriately difficult to obtain.
Android app stores have mostly observed the ruling, while Apple has allowed the games to be published while they await authorization. There are supposedly roughly 60,000 affected games while only around 43,000 licenses have been issued.
How Apple managed to skirt by the ruling is unknown or why the crackdown is happening now, but Apple did try to prepare developers. Reminders were given out in February, then warnings to obtain the licenses by 30 June, before finally taking action now that it’s July.
It probably won’t be the first time such extreme measures will be taken, especially with these proposed rulings we reported on in April. While people may try to keep games “politics-free”, the rulings are still rulings to be followed.