CHINA'S gaming market, which in 2016 became the world's largest, generates over $30 billion in revenue a year. Among its heavy hitters are Tencent, which called the unclogging ''decidedly inspiring'', and the Netease.

Shares in each firm have fallen by about 30% over the past year, as revenue growth slowed sharply.

THE BACKLOG of new titles awaiting approval has probably surpassed 5,000, so the news on December 29th that 80 new video games had received the blessing of the Chinese government might have seemed underwhelming.

But for the game developers, any let-up is welcome. After a re-shuffle in March that put the new media regulator, the State Administration of  Press and Publication, under direct control of the Communist Party's propaganda department, the firms were forced to forgo profits for the year on all new games.

When the news came of the unclogging, the share prices of these companies ticked up a little.

Both companies titles were absent from the first lot of license approvals, which was dominated by small developers, most of which rely on just a game-or- two to make money.

Observers reckon that a backlog is being worked through in the order that the titles were submitted, and that the titans' titles would be approved in due course.

Over time, their fat budgets relative to smaller ones should help them stay in lockstep with the government as it tightens protections on young gamers - it fears for their eyesight and mental health  -and expunges content not in line with ''core socialist values'' .

Tencent has already been regulating itself. It has launched an ''anti-addiction'' measure for ''Honour of Kings'', one of the blockbusters, to limit the play time of under-12s to one hour a day [with a night time curfew] and that of teens to two-hours.

Since November it has been expanding this, as well as new ID-checks by facial recognition, to all its games. [The Economist]

The honor and serving of the latest global operational research on Video games, Children and Teens continues.


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