China isn’t just clamping down on in-game loot boxes: it now has its sights firmly set on live streaming.
Chinese authorities have vowed to strengthen regulations that govern online streaming, in what could be a major blow to the country’s many prominent online streamers.
Nie Chenxi, head of the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television (SAPPRFT), said (via Shanghai Daily) that authorities will crack down on any live streams the government deems to be in breach of the law and that “undermine people’s interests”.
The Cyberspace Administration of China has urged regulators to be firm against live streamers that spread pornography, violence and rumours, which is a broad range of unscrupulous activities that would most definitely include anti-China sentiment within video games.
The Ministry Of Culture has also said that it will be illegal to stream unapproved games from within the country.
Further, streamers will be required to register with their real name, and all streaming operators will need to get an “Online culture operating license” in order to operate in the country.
This stands to be a huge issue with China’s large streaming community, as many of the more popular games that are streamed haven’t been approved for sale in China, and are instead accessed and played through Steam.
The new regulations would likely hurt non-published games released independently through the platform.
This news comes after a report last week revealed the Chinese government was clamping down on what it deems to be exploitative in-game loot boxes.
The loot box business model has worked wonders for the likes of Blizzard and Riot Games, not to mention countless mobile game studios, but China officials are demanding that gaming publishers reveal to players the probability of earning a desirable item.
The regulations say that online game publishers “shall promptly and publicly announce information about the name, property, content, quantity, and draw/forge probability of all virtual items and services that can be drawn/forge on the official website or a dedicated draw probability webpage of the game. The information on draw probability shall be true and effective.”
Further to this, all random draw results must be listed for public access and for “government inquiry”.
“The record must be kept for more than 90 days. When publishing the random draw results, some measures should be taken place to protect user privacy,” the new policy states.
It seems that with one fell swoop, China has quickly reigned in what was previously an unregulated industry.