China On Ending Console Ban: Opening A Window, But Still Blocking Flies And Mosquitoes

China looks to ease up on censorship of games and game consoles, but Battlefield 4 and its like are still not wanted.

by on 13th Jan, 2014

Chinese Ministry of Culture head Cai Wen held a press conference in Beijing explaining the release of the 14 year old video game console ban.

Cai Wen has made statements before that the government should not go beyond its duties to intervene in the commercial cultural market, and allow this segment some degree of freedom. Whatever you may think of the political implications of this statement, it is a clear change to the outright fear mongering that led to the ban being approved in the first place.

 However, the sting of Battlefield 4 is still fresh in the Chinese people’s minds, so don’t expect anything remotely critical of China to be getting in anytime soon. Cai spoke on this at the press con, stating that anything outwardly hostile to China, or that does not conform to the government’s outlook will not be allowed.

Cai provides a poignant analogy when he states:

We want to open the window a crack to get some fresh air, but we still need a screen to block the flies and mosquitoes.

Cai and his ministry will be in charge of drafting the new rules that will regulate the sale and distribution of consoles, and he states that they will be written as soon as possible.

I know this news may seem too distant for many of you, so let me reframe it this way: China is now in the same position the US itself was when their government took actions that led to the formation of the ESRB. Games rated for mature audiences may be difficult to distribute, or even approve, as Australian gamers have themselves experienced 1sthand.

In the end, of course, to China and these gaming companies, it’s about money. Consoles are as much an opportunity to the Chinese as it is for the big three, and who knows? We may be seeing a considerable presence in the eSports and developer communities from China in the coming years.

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