Apple has removed 39,000 games from its Chinese App Store because they are not licensed to be distributed in China. December 31 was the deadline set by Apple for which game makers had to submit a license from the government.
The deadline was initially the end of June of this year, but has been moved. Reuters quotes research firm Qimai as saying that only 74 of the top 1,500 paid games are still on the app store. Titles removed include Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed Identity and 2K Games’ NBA 2K20.
Reuters writes that Chinese Android app platforms have long been enforced when it comes to licensing regulations. Why Apple chooses to take action at this point is unclear, but Reuters has asked Apple for a response.
Since 2019, extra strict rules regarding gaming have applied in China. Younger gamers are not allowed to game for more than an hour and a half per workday and three hours on a weekend day. There is also a ‘gaming curfew’ which is valid from 10 pm to 8 pm. There are also restrictions on how much young people can spend on games and in-game purchases. The game companies must monitor this, otherwise they could lose their license.