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China Enforces Even Stricter Regulation On Games

Soulskill posted more than 4 years ago | from the pong-is-contrary-to-the-common-good dept.

Censorship 235

eldavojohn writes "Chinese gamers have a pretty hard life. From crackdowns on 'undesirable' games to bans on gangster games to delayed World of Warcraft expansions, they suffer. The worst part is that in order to qualify for operating in China, you face a maze of conflicting bureaucracy and regulation. Well, it just got a little worse. Now, if you want to operate, you need to hire a 'specialist' to oversee content, and you need to 'enhance socialist values' in your game. They also want to limit in-game marriages and how many player-versus-player combat sessions one can engage in. The circular issued from China's Ministry of Culture contained all the vague verbiage giving them easier reign over who operates and who doesn't. It's a large market, but is it worth the gamble to game developers?"

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No PVP? (0)

TheKidWho (705796) | more than 4 years ago | (#30160448)

What? Why not? They don't like their people being competitive?

Just wait until MW3 is made about China...

Re:No PVP? (0)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | more than 4 years ago | (#30160554)

Just place Assassin's Creed III in the Cultural Revolution and watch heads explode.

Re:No PVP? (1, Funny)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 4 years ago | (#30161174)

Probably best for an offshore dev team to do that, or "The heads that you explode might be your own"...

Re:No PVP? (4, Insightful)

tilandal (1004811) | more than 4 years ago | (#30160558)

Don't worry, as with all business in China you just have to know who to bribe.

Re:No PVP? (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30160972)

Mod parent up. This is how business is done in China. Anything from high finance to getting your kid into a good elementary school it's always about the who's, when's, and how much's of bribery. This mass of carefully crafted conflicting regulations is only the government officials fighting with each other over bribery turf. It is official policy. No one in China is ever prosecuted for this kind of crap unless they've run afoul of somebody higher up in political power. As soon as there is publicity, it's a signal that the person to be put on trial, innocent or not, convicted or not, has lost power and is now wearing a giant "kick me" sign.

Re:No PVP? (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30161128)

And that's different with respect to other countries, how? Good thing businesses are so honest in the US or EU countries that they are never giving bribes nor are their people in power accepting them. If only China could learn to be as honest, upstanding and incorruptible as the people in the US Congress and people like Obama and Bush they'd just have such a wonderful utopia.

Re:No PVP? (1)

Applekid (993327) | more than 4 years ago | (#30161186)

And that's different with respect to other countries, how?

Other countries have at least some amount freedom of speech.

Re:No PVP? (0, Troll)

jamboarder (620309) | more than 4 years ago | (#30161810)

And that's different with respect to other countries, how? Good thing businesses are so honest in the US or EU countries that they are never giving bribes nor are their people in power accepting them. If only China could learn to be as honest, upstanding and incorruptible as the people in the US Congress and people like Obama and Bush they'd just have such a wonderful utopia.

How is this flamebait?

Bribes (3, Informative)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 4 years ago | (#30161202)

The funny thing is, by reading Slashdot, one gets the impression that the CCP (and thus the gummint) has clamped down on everything.

Yet, I know people who travel there regularly and they state, you can get anything you want as long as you know where to go or who to talk to. Much is readily available in stores which is supposedly banned.

China may pass laws, but the enforcement is a whole different matter.

Re:Bribes (1, Interesting)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 4 years ago | (#30161292)

So it's just like everywhere else, rules and regulations apply, unless you're wealthy enough?

Umm... help me a bit, I'm confused, are that socialist or capitalist values again?

Re:Bribes (3, Insightful)

longfalcon (202977) | more than 4 years ago | (#30161606)

you're kidding right?

Bribery and corruption are accepted in many Eastern (and Middle Eastern) cultures. everyone does it, and if you don't, you don't get to play.

when someone tries the same thing in the US or Europe, they always end up facing charges or at the very least looking for work somewhere else. if money buys immunity, then why did Enron, Worldcom, Madoff, etc. all end up prosecuted?

Re:Bribes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30162152)

Because, capitalist or socialist, we need an occasional 'demon' of a scapegoat to prove our system is working.

Re:Bribes (2, Insightful)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#30161634)

So it's like our country - tons of laws that are rarely enforced, until the politicians decide to "make an example" of someone and then they use those laws to arrest anyone they desire to arrest, because we're ALL guilty to breaking at least one law. China's more like us than different.

BTW, why isn't China bankrupt yet? Perhaps it's because they watched the Soviet Union communist government fall, and they decided to evolve into a fascist state (privately-owned capitalist companies, but with strict centralized control).

Re:No PVP? (5, Interesting)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | more than 4 years ago | (#30161640)

"One of the things I have always found troubling about Westerners doing business in emerging market countries is that they sometimes take an almost perverse pride in discussing payoffs to government officials. It is as though their having paid a bribe is a symbol of their international sophistication and insider knowledge. Yet, countless times when I am told of the bribe, I know the very same thing could almost certainly have been accomplished without a bribe." --Source [chinalawblog.com]

Re:No PVP? (1)

Entropius (188861) | more than 4 years ago | (#30162116)

Misclicked and mismodded your post, posting to remove

Re:No PVP? (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30160746)

PvP cuts into the gold-farming time - gotta keep pushing the GDP up!

Good for them! (5, Funny)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | more than 4 years ago | (#30160500)

I heard they are banning all Wii games with the word "Party" in the title.

Re:Good for them! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30160762)

Why? Based on their "enhances socialist values" criteria, Mario Party would be a hit with the gov't.

Re:Good for them! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30160930)

Why?

Because, politically, it's a one-party system.

Whoosh.

Re:Good for them! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30160900)

Well, they don't want kids going around shooting their classmates in schools, not that they'd be dumb enough

Re:Good for them! (3, Funny)

The Archon V2.0 (782634) | more than 4 years ago | (#30160932)

I heard they are banning all Wii games with the word "Party" in the title.

Will they at least let people play Dance Dance Cultural Revolution?

Re:Good for them! (1)

ZarathustraDK (1291688) | more than 4 years ago | (#30162170)

I hear Super Marx Brothers is good too...

Of course (2, Interesting)

Improv (2467) | more than 4 years ago | (#30160520)

There are plenty of game developers that would love to capture part of the Chinese market. It's mainly developers that operate a bit too close to prohibited levels of hedonism and a few other touchy subjects that will have problems, and it's not like Chinese need games tailored to them - people taking the effort to make a game could go worldwide if their game won't work in China.

nuts (5, Insightful)

Tom (822) | more than 4 years ago | (#30160556)

It's a large market, but is it worth the gamble to game developers?

Are you nuts? It's a market that in a few years will be 5-10 times larger than the US market, taking into account that asian cultures are more open to gaming in general (see Korea for example). If there is any single market in the world that's worth it, it's China.

Other industry has been there, done that. Car manufacturers all knew after the initial surprises that if they open a factory in China, their blueprints will be copied and another chinese factory somewhere else will produce the same cars for a cheaper price. Some stayed out of China for that reason. Until the chinese began to buy cars. Then, they had no choice but to do it, because they couldn't sell on the chinese market without having a chinese factory. They did it knowing full well the damage they'd sustain.

Frankly, ten years from now, game developers will probably wonder whether it's worth the trouble anymore translating their games for the US market.

Re:nuts (3, Interesting)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 4 years ago | (#30160670)

But developing a game that pushes Socialist values and limits various gameplay could essentially RUIN your sales in every country BUT China.

Is China > 50% of the market?

Will China be > 50% of the market?

Re:nuts (2, Insightful)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 4 years ago | (#30160834)

But developing a game that pushes Socialist values and limits various gameplay could essentially RUIN your sales in every country BUT China.

Game? Sales? China? They pay for games in China? Who'd of thunk it....

Re:nuts (1)

Bakkster (1529253) | more than 4 years ago | (#30161454)

But developing a game that pushes Socialist values and limits various gameplay could essentially RUIN your sales in every country BUT China.

Game? Sales? China? They pay for games in China? Who'd of thunk it....

There's a reason the games that do well there are pay-to-play.

Re:nuts (1)

LynnwoodRooster (966895) | more than 4 years ago | (#30161842)

Oh, they pay for games in China; I pay for games in China! 20 RMB for the latest XBOX title, 15 RMB for the newest Wii game, and the like...

Re:nuts (1)

CannonballHead (842625) | more than 4 years ago | (#30160980)

... does China pay >50% of your revenue?

Re:nuts (1)

interval1066 (668936) | more than 4 years ago | (#30160996)

10 years from now the average Chinese is going to say "Socialist values? Heck, we dumped that nonsense a few years ago."

Re:nuts (1)

cbreaker (561297) | more than 4 years ago | (#30161188)

You're joking, right? There's absolutely no way the Chinese government is going to stop controlling information and oppressing its' people any time soon, and definitely not within 10 years.

You're dreaming.

Re:nuts (2, Insightful)

Jaysyn (203771) | more than 4 years ago | (#30161448)

You say this like the Chinese government could actually control 1.2 billion people if they really & truly yearned to be free.

The population of China is like the elephant that can be fettered with a thin rope, because heavy chains were used during it's youth. They can only be restricted as much as they *let* themselves be restricted.

Re:nuts (3, Insightful)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | more than 4 years ago | (#30161884)

Yearning to be free?!? Where did that idea come from? Chinese people aren't "yearning" for anything. As a matter of fact, they are intensely grateful to their government for making the present prosperity possible. It's better in China today than it has been at any time in their 5000 years of history, and it's only improving. It's a damn sight better than the Mao years when he murdered tens of millions and the lucky ones merely froze in unheated factories and classrooms. Oh, maybe they should go back to Chiang Kai-Shek and the warlords? Let's see...Empress Cixi? Nope, unmitigated disaster there, too. Unequal treaties, Opium wars, should I keep going back? The government could decree that every citizen gets a boot to the head daily from the security guards at every community entrance, and they'd still proclaim loudly that China is better off than it has ever been - and they'd be right. And the reason is the government. If the government wanted, the entire nation would still be living in poverty. 1.3 billion starving poor: the Chinese called it "1949-1976".

Re:nuts (2, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 4 years ago | (#30161474)

That goes without say. But "socialist values"? C'mon, China hasn't been socialist for quite a while now.

Don't equate socialist with dictatorship. There are socialist dictatorships, but there are also socialist societies that are no dictatorships as well as dictatorships that are anything but socialist.

Re:nuts (0)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#30161838)

>>>China hasn't been socialist for quite a while now.

(sings) What color is the sky in your world? (ahem). China is still socialist, ensuring their citizens have jobs, homes, amd/or food

Re:nuts (2, Interesting)

Ellis D. Tripp (755736) | more than 4 years ago | (#30161516)

Exactly what does controlling information and oppressing citizens have to do with Socialism?

For that matter, what does the government of the PRC have to do with Socialism? Their situation looks a lot more like crony capitalism and kleptocracy mixed with old fashioned totalitarianism than a system where the workers control the means of production and allocate resources toward the common good...

Re:nuts (2, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 4 years ago | (#30161236)

I don't think that it'll take 10 years. Their present system is, at least, classifiable as "crony capitalism with state intervention", and the proles(both city and country) are getting the shaft to a degree that would please any sneering Dickensian oligarch(though, since they are getting the same shit slice of a larger pie, their anger hasn't yet become unmanageable).

mod parent up (1)

bussdriver (620565) | more than 4 years ago | (#30161540)

Funny how the USA has to deal with similar issues... but China-- they were supposed to be communist! They couldn't even keep the capitalist flame under control for a generation and its a wild fire already. The USA managed to go longer; but we in many ways are in the same boat anyhow... (for the religious zealots; surely you can now acknowledge a simple fire == capitalism analogy after the recent banking/credit/insurance mess. )

Re:mod parent up (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#30162172)

Capitalism is not evil. It's genesis was born when one neighbor made shoes, another neighbor made horsewhips, and then they purchased one another's products. The fact that we've allowed corporations to grow out of control doesn't negate the value of the basic system

I propose revoking all corporate personhood (i.e. no rights wjatsoever), so they can be regulated more effectively. We also need to stop buying-up all their shit. It's a bit hypocritical to complain about the evils of capitalism, and then turn-around and write a $1000 check to Comcast or AT&T or Microsoft

Re:nuts (2, Interesting)

geekoid (135745) | more than 4 years ago | (#30161372)

haha, people have been saying this since Tiena square. Not happening any time soon; however there form of socialist/market is very interesting, and due mostly to Tienanmen square.

There socialist i the half of income from imports goes into a giant savings that is used to establish and maintain a global business presence.

In effect, any single US company is competing with the whole of China. If we don't adapt to that, then we will be doomed. As long as people are lying about something as simple and obvious as getting health care to people, I don't see it being a good political move to suggest taxing imports for the sole reason of leveraging industry from verses, or supporting a solid business ground work in 3rd world countries going to fly.

The US and China are heading to the same point, but from different sides. The only question where will that point be?

Re:nuts (1)

kalirion (728907) | more than 4 years ago | (#30161208)

Just how many "Socialist Values" does China have?

Re:nuts (4, Insightful)

Applekid (993327) | more than 4 years ago | (#30161328)

But developing a game that pushes Socialist values and limits various gameplay could essentially RUIN your sales in every country BUT China.


#ifdef REGION_CHINA
        gameRules.PVP = false;
        gameRules.GroupRules.Max += 5;
#endif

If Duke Nukem puffs on a cigar to a backdrop of the US flag in a cutscene, I'd see either the content re-rendered with a different flag texture or just removed outright. The commercial response to censorship will be the cheapest and shortest workaround to get within the law, not a group-up redesign.

Re:nuts (1)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 4 years ago | (#30161554)

If your game has the capability to break the law - people will exploit it. The Chinese citizens will simply pirate the American version, or hack their region to be not China - and before you know it the game will be banned.

You either ship your game with the limitations, or don't ship to China. World of Warcraft expansions are experiencing major delays because World of Warcraft basically has to be recoded this way. If it were as simple as a few lines of code, they would have patched it.

Re:nuts (2, Interesting)

mckinnsb (984522) | more than 4 years ago | (#30161774)

It goes just a little deeper than that.

You have to consider the fact that games like Grand Theft Auto 4 and Assassin's Creed are not even capable of being released in China - not just because of particular things in the game which could be set by a configuration file or bypassed with a boolean (the main character is Slavic, shooting of 'Triad' gang members), but because of the raw nature of the gameplay itself. Granted, GTA IV is a very visceral example, but with these new restrictions, China is now going to have a say in the gameplay of every game that is released in China - and game developers are going to have to pay for it. To be honest, only huge software companies (Blizzard, Electronic Arts) are going to find developing a game for China profitable, because these "bureaucratic fees" are going to crowd out everyone else - and they are going to have to design these games specifically for China. The root poster is right - these new games are probably going to be much tamer than their non-Chinese counterparts, and will probably sell horribly outside of China, and will likely not be translated. The cultural wall remains.

Re:nuts (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30161954)

"Time to kick ass, chew bubble gum, and reflect on the teaching of Mao. And I'm all outta ass and bubble gum."

Re:nuts (2, Insightful)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#30161780)

>>>Is China > 50% of the market?
>>>Will China be > 50% of the market?

1.3 billion Chinese versus 0.4 billion Americans/Canadians + 0.5 billion Europeans + 0.1 Japanese
57% > 43%

Yes China will be >50% of the developed world's market. That's assuming they don't stumble due to an oil crisis (oil becoming scarce) which would prevent them from reaching US/EU/JP level of advancement.

Re:nuts (1)

el3mentary (1349033) | more than 4 years ago | (#30162046)

Yes because 100% of chinese people will buy the games

Re:nuts (1)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 4 years ago | (#30160870)

Are you nuts? It's a market that in a few years will be 5-10 times larger than the US market, taking into account that asian cultures are more open to gaming in general (see Korea for example).

I may be a bit touched in the head to suggest staying out of the Chinese market to avoid unclear penalties and becoming a government tool, but I'm not crazy enough to generalize that many people or even try to compare Korean (I assume you imply South Korean) culture to Chinese culture. That's a brazenly occidental view of the world. Are you an expert on both?

Re:nuts (1)

qoncept (599709) | more than 4 years ago | (#30161542)

I may be a bit touched in the head ...

What does that mean? Honest question.

I'm not crazy enough to generalize that many people or even try to compare Korean (I assume you imply South Korean) culture to Chinese culture. That's a brazenly occidental view of the world.

As far as I can tell, he isn't suggesting anything about any number of "people." He's discussing cultures. When you watch the History Channel, do you complain that a show generalizes the Aztecs and implies every single one of them murdered for sacrifice? Is it not true that asian cultures play more games? Again, an honest question. Occidental or not, I'm a lot more likely to believe Chinese people, as a whole, would be more likely to play more games than Americans.

Are you an expert on both?

Do you need to be an expert to make casual observations on anything? I'm not an expert on Ford Mustangs, but I can tell when one is red. I can say that Mustangs are faster than Ford Aspires. Always true? No. True in general? Yeah. But you aren't going to play your card here (or most of the time when people make comments about things they have no more insight in to than a fly) because (I'm assuming) it has no racial implications.

Re:nuts (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30160958)

Yeah, Crowd Control Productions was really excited to have EVE Online in China... the Chinese server (which must be segregated from the rest of the world for legal reasons that also create technical reasons, so much for The Butterfly Effect) gets about 1500 users peak last I heard, and The Rest Of The World gets about 40,000?

Now, 1 to 1 that puts China pretty well ahead against other developed countries, but it seems to me that it's far more feasible and profitable to not have to worry about Chinese law and cater to virtually anyone but them than have to dedicate resources and modify everything that works for everyone else to get another 4% of users.

Other MMO's mileage may vary and obviously this doesn't particularly considers single player games.

Re:nuts (1)

0xdeadbeef (28836) | more than 4 years ago | (#30161054)

Frankly, ten years from now, game developers will probably wonder whether it's worth the trouble anymore translating their games for the US market.

Yeah, kind of like how Chinese cinema is now destroying Hollywood.

Re:nuts (1)

Ogive17 (691899) | more than 4 years ago | (#30161060)

Working in the auto industry I can tell you first hand how much of a pain in the ass it is to sell in China. They basically require a bribe to import anything into the country. It's their way of making it so pricy to do business in an attempt to force companies to build factories in China. I'm not just talking about complete units, I'm talking about componant parts, service parts.. everything. Every part needs to have a costly certification done (where the company has to pay to fly 3-5 Chinese "inspectors" over and cover all their expenses for a couple weeks). The "inspectors" certify the mfg plant and processes and the parts. Only after a few months and a couple hundred thousand dollars can a location be certified.

I can't imagine the fuss they'd create if the US sent inspectors to China to go through a 2 month review of every factory that ships product to the US. I also can't imagine why we even bother with China.

Re:nuts (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 4 years ago | (#30161536)

Because they produce cheap crap cheaply. Period.

Of course, if I don't give a shit about my workers (and have nonexisting work laws) I can produce dirt cheap as well. What I wonder is why no country bothers to go up in arms about that while we get to hear about every other shit going down on our planet, when A shoots B and we get asked for donations for the starving kids and whatnot.

But maybe just 'cause they don't produce cheap shit for us.

Not so fast, sinophile. (1)

sethstorm (512897) | more than 4 years ago | (#30161064)

. If there is any single market in the world that's worth it, it's the United States of America.

FIFY.

Other industry has been there, done that. Car manufacturers all knew after the initial surprises that if they open a factory in China, their blueprints will be copied and another chinese factory somewhere else will produce the same cars for a cheaper price. Some stayed out of China for that reason.

Good reason to stay out of a Second(Russia) World or Third World country(China/India/Brazil) and manufacture in a First World(US/UK/Pre-Expansion EU) one.

Besides, you're selling largely to party bosses anyway. The rest are just junk-grade copies.

Frankly, ten years from now, game developers will probably wonder whether it's worth the trouble anymore translating their games for the US market.

They will translate for the US and it won't be a second-rate job. End of story.

Re:Not so fast, sinophile. (1)

WinterSolstice (223271) | more than 4 years ago | (#30161378)

You're still running a RS/6000? The rest of the world moved to the P Series years ago.
http://www-03.ibm.com/systems/p/ [ibm.com]

Get with the times already :)

Re:nuts (2, Interesting)

Mr Otobor (1097177) | more than 4 years ago | (#30161412)

Frankly, ten years from now, game developers will probably wonder whether it's worth the trouble anymore translating their games for the US market.

Well, that hardly seems likely, even if the US is still "only" the number one market in 10 years :) (Maybe a different story 20 - 30 years out.)

While I could imagine a collapse of UK/US to just "ENG", but I seriously doubt the English speaking market is going anywhere (UK, US, AU, CA, NZ, de facto second language for many in India, lots of other people who don't get to have games/manuals/books/etc. translated to their native language as part of the standard 8 or 10 translations done for most modern products.) Perhaps in another 100 or 200 years, English and Chinese will have begun to merge for real (if Chingrish isn't already on that path) but you're going to continue to have a huge English market if for no other reason than right now 400million+ speak English as a first language, and the majority of those are in countries that are not under any kind of population pressure or serious resource pressure (think US and Canada.). Also, you forget the language diversity within China... out of 1.2 billion "only" 850+ million speak Mandarin as a first language.

China is rising, yeah, the US is going down, yeah, blah, blah, blah. It makes a nice headline and gets peoples' emotions up a bit, but the truth is more like, "China is rising and the US is... rising much more slowly. But is way, way far out ahead." Anyway, did anyone really thing the world could remain so massively imbalanced in power and prestige forever? (The answer, apparently, at least if you listen to news and posts like this, is "Yes.")

Re:nuts (1)

pwnies (1034518) | more than 4 years ago | (#30161452)

Not quite. While the population of China is about 4.3 times the United States', the number of those connected to the internet is only slightly higher [wikipedia.org] As it stands, China only has about 12 million more broadband subscribers than the US does. I highly doubt that it's going to increase by a multiple of five in the next few years, especially seeing as the majority of China's population is spread out over its rural areas.

That's the China fallacy (5, Insightful)

Xaedalus (1192463) | more than 4 years ago | (#30161506)

"China's going to be a HUGE market!" is the China fallacy, which operates with the assumption that consumers in China are like consumers elsewhere, and that as soon as they get money they will become a gold mine.

That is a fallacy that's been going on for three to four hundred plus years, and contributed directly to the downfall of the Qing Emperor, the Open Door policy, and all the other problems that China's been trying to recover from for the last hundred years. See, China's culture is very nationalistic and one of their flaws is that they believe they are the center of the Earth. In the mercantile age, that meant that China always exported its goods but would only accept silver from the West because western goods were always seen as 'inferior'. It almost bankrupted the British Empire, and did significant economic damage to the other Western countries, so they retaliated by basically taking over China's ports (and the whole country) to boot.

To assume that once THIS happens then China will open up to the West is wrong. China will continue what it's doing right now with the currency, and with it's trade policies: accepting money (in the form of Treasury debt and other convertibles) and exporting its goods without buying our goods, because they do not want to be 'dependent' on us. This is at the heart of the Chinese currency manipulation problem - that China is doing exactly what it did 200+ years ago - hoarding monetary assets while not accepting imports from us and slowly bankrupting us. They're not doing it out of spite, they're doing it because to them, all other countries and cultures are 'inferior' to a degree and they want to be the center of the world - and the center never accepts help from the edges.

That's why the best route for developers is to ignore China. Don't buy into the fallacy, because then you force China to accept your goods, and in doing so, you fix the imbalance.

Re:nuts (1)

Pascal Sartoretti (454385) | more than 4 years ago | (#30161746)

It's a market that in a few years will be 5-10 times larger than the US market

China's GDP is 2-3 times smaller than the USA's (depending on how you count it). Though it is growing faster, some argue [blogspot.com] that China will never catch the USA.

Not even mentioning the widespread piracy. Not even mentioning the Chinese people's reluctance to pay money to foreign companies...

Re:nuts (1)

khallow (566160) | more than 4 years ago | (#30162028)

They don't actually argue that. Instead, they argue that China won't catch up in real GDP per capita to a 20th Century US continuing to grow as it used to.

Best Plan Ever? (2, Insightful)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 4 years ago | (#30160576)

How about I develop a game that caters EXACTLY what the Chinese government would like, and then they use their overpowered censorship and propoganda to promote it and only it...

Question Marks

Profit?

Re:Best Plan Ever? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30160660)

How about I develop a game that caters EXACTLY what the Chinese government would like, and then they use their overpowered censorship and propoganda to promote it and only it...

Question Marks

Profit?

sounds like you should get a us patent for that idea... you would hate for anyone else to do it

Re:Best Plan Ever? (1)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 4 years ago | (#30160738)

How about I develop a game that caters EXACTLY what the Chinese government would like, and then they use their overpowered censorship and propoganda to promote it and only it...

Question Marks

Profit?

That's a very profitable idea but you might want to consult with IBM [ibmandtheholocaust.com] about how history views those who comply with fascism for monetary return.

Re:Best Plan Ever? (1)

Improv (2467) | more than 4 years ago | (#30160838)

I don't think you know what fascism is if you're suggesting that the Chinese government fits the label.

Re:Best Plan Ever? (1)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 4 years ago | (#30160862)

That's a very profitable idea but you might want to consult with IBM [ibmandtheholocaust.com] about how history views those who comply with fascism for monetary return.

Interesting that you mention a historical example but fail to note the modern-day examples. Yes, I'm looking at you Google, Yahoo, and Cisco.

Re:Best Plan Ever? (2, Insightful)

Reason58 (775044) | more than 4 years ago | (#30160866)

That's a very profitable idea but you might want to consult with IBM [ibmandtheholocaust.com] about how history views those who comply with fascism for monetary return.

I would definitely compare IBM's assistance in identifying, tracking and cataloging people for the Nazis during the Holocaust to PvP restrictions in World of Warcraft.

Re:Best Plan Ever? (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 4 years ago | (#30161408)

I wouldn't call providing hardware to assiting.

Does Google assist in every crime someone does using a gmail address?

Re:Best Plan Ever? (2, Insightful)

Eevee (535658) | more than 4 years ago | (#30161224)

I can assure you that no matter how history views IBM, it hasn't affected IBM's stock prices one bit.

All about palm greasing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30160590)

These new rules sound like the are all about setting up the bureaucracy to ensure the state, and various officials, are getting their cut of your success.

Re:All about palm greasing (5, Insightful)

boldtbanan (905468) | more than 4 years ago | (#30160864)

Mod parent up. This law is basically saying "You must hit all of these subjective benchmarks." That's code for "You must pay us enough money to agree that you are hitting all of these subjective benchmarks."

Laws are rarely about what's good for the people. They're usually about what's good for the lawmakers. Occasionally the two coincide.

Least of their worries (1)

mikeljnola (1028460) | more than 4 years ago | (#30160626)

It seems like trouble taking video games to market is the least of the Chinese people's worries regarding use of technology.

And everybody thought ... (1)

d'baba (1134261) | more than 4 years ago | (#30160674)

Apple was bad.

---
Hypertext isn't what it's marked up to be

Re:And everybody thought ... (1)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 4 years ago | (#30160796)

Maybe Apple and China should merge, eh?

The Great Wall would have white, silver, translucency, and be slicky smooth.

lol (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30160752)

if you take games seriously you need to grow up

Re:lol (2, Insightful)

CannonballHead (842625) | more than 4 years ago | (#30161036)

By "take games seriously" are you referring to the people in their 20s that still spend all their spare time playing games? They need to grow up?

Or do you mean the people that think games have are extremely influential on people... you think they need to grow up?

Whether or not PvP is good or bad is one argument, but arguing that games don't really influence people is ridiculous. If nothing else, it consumes their time, for better or worse. Games - and all entertainment - is not a neutral activity, just as reading a book isn't. Movies, games, and books (and TV, radio, etc) all influence people; game creators, movie producers, and authors can push behaviors, points, agendas, etc. It's not the medium that makes something "neutral" or non-influential.

Fuck china (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30160818)

let them go to hell. fuckwads.

Huge Market, really? (2, Insightful)

FunkSoulBrother (140893) | more than 4 years ago | (#30160824)

There is a software market in China? I mean one that generatess actual money, and doesn't just pirate everything?

I guess 2% of a billion is a pretty big number.

Re:Huge Market, really? (1)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | more than 4 years ago | (#30161172)

If the Chinese consumer was anything like the U.S. consumer I would think this was another cloaked embargo/tariff and argue we should try our luck with the WTO. However, they're not. Most are pretty close to slave status which is why it's so hard for U.S. labor to compete with them.

I'll lean more toward the government corruption angle.

They ignore one thing (1)

sethstorm (512897) | more than 4 years ago | (#30160904)

...none of those regulations apply to their goldfarming services targeted to large First World markets.

Re:They ignore one thing (1)

kalirion (728907) | more than 4 years ago | (#30161298)

Of course, the gold farmers aren't having fun.

People's Revolt of China (1)

paradochs (1268274) | more than 4 years ago | (#30160934)

If enough companies/games don't attempt to penetrate the Chinese market due to the ridiculous red tape and censoring, maybe the people will get upset enough to do something about it!

Time to shelve Pac Mao (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30160992)

Damn, not only do I have to get past the App Store but I have to get past Chinese censors. Just isn't worth it.

How to enhance socialist values in games (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30161042)

1. If you are playing the Call of Duty campaign and you pick up an ammo pack, you only get 1/10 of the ammo and the rest go to your NPC squadmates. If you point out that they are idiotic clowns that never pick up ammo to give to you in return, it's "Game Over" as you are sent to a reeducation camp to rid you of your bourgeoiseity.

2. In Resident Evil, all the money you collect to buy items will instead be melted down to produce a golden plow. Instead, which weapons you get in the store depends on how badly you have played before. If you want that rocket launcher, you had better get shot up quite a bit before you visit. Make sure you drop those health packs behind a corner.

3. In Betrayal at Krondor, if you haggle too much with a merchant, you are seeking to exploit your position of privilege to subdue to rights of the worker, and the labour union of every store on the world map will make their merchants refuse to sell to you.

4. In Super Mario Bros., there's no point in playing, because the princess gets her just dessert after gorging on the paltry meals of the people. The revised edition has Bowser wear a top hat, and you are saving a revolutionary songwriter.

5. In Zelda, you can only play the game once a year. This is because everyone in the game must take a turn in being allowed to use the sword, which is the only sword in existence. It is bourgeoise to claim that just because your parents were such-and-such, and you found a sword that someone else left in the forest, you should be allowed to keep it away from being shared with the people.

6. In Harvest Moon, the amount of money you get allocated will be lower the more you produce. This is because everyone should give according to ability and receive according to need, and since you obviously dig like a freaking maniac while nobody else in the village does, you have just proved that you are able to dig like a freaking maniac which nobody else has. Since you were a capitalist before, it should be expected that you conceal part of the produce.

Re:How to enhance socialist values in games (1)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | more than 4 years ago | (#30161214)

sorry to talk semantics, but that those most of those are more about Communist values, not necessarily socialist values.

Still funny, though.

Re:How to enhance socialist values in games (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30161586)

If you're talking typical theory, socialism is simply a transitionary stage towards communism.

Reality appears to correspond to this, as in every socialist nation, more steps are taken to move closer to communism than to move away from it. This includes redefining language (e.g. "fair" is everything that moves closer to communism; "social taxes" are taxes that create a situation closer to communism whereas "antisocial" taxes are everything else) for its purpose.

Clever marxists call themselves socialists and recognise that you can keep a situation where everyone gets a different SALARY, so long as the majority of their EXPENSES are in an approximate fixed ratio to their salary. For example, if you earn little you have zero taxes and get living and health expenses covered; if you earn more you pay a lot of taxes and have higher expenses. That the US is far from this today, much further than Europe, isn't relevant for a discussion of where the ultimate goal lies.

In fact, I would challenge any "socialist" to define a steady-state socialist society that differs materially in its everyday life from communistic theory as prescribed by any of the typical, recognised Marxists, and how this steady-state socialist society actively refutes aspects of communistic theory. I don't think they will be able to.

Still funny in spite of the obfuscation though.

With all the rules and regulations they have.... (2, Funny)

CFBMoo1 (157453) | more than 4 years ago | (#30161084)

You could make a video game of getting guy developing and publishing a video game in China.

Oh the Onion'y of it all.

Just pay the bribe... (1)

Amezick (102131) | more than 4 years ago | (#30161110)

Anyone but me recognize this as an EXCELLENT opportunity for these "specialists" to get paid? This IS China we are talking about.

Its not a gamble. It just means you're a sellout. (1)

2obvious4u (871996) | more than 4 years ago | (#30161148)

Any respectable company should boycott the Chinese market over this. It isn't a gamble to sell games to china that meet their criteria, however it does mean that you sold out your conscience for more profits. Personally I'd refuse to make changes from a piece of artwork to appease the establishment.

Re:Its not a gamble. It just means you're a sellou (1)

Dan667 (564390) | more than 4 years ago | (#30161742)

actually, in providing the game even neutered, the Chinese will probably be forced to change over time. They will never really be able to keep a lid on cultural control and anyone that plays the actual game will be pissed that they are not allowed to play the good version.

Re:Its not a gamble. It just means you're a sellou (1)

clem (5683) | more than 4 years ago | (#30162136)

Any respectable company...

We'll let you know if we see any.

Now, if only... (1)

Foobar of Borg (690622) | more than 4 years ago | (#30161218)

Now, if we can only get Jack Thompson to learn Chinese and move to Beijing, we could finally get him out of our hair and inflict him on someone else. It would be a career move in keeping with his past "crusades". Of course, the Chinese may consider such a move an act of war.

Blah blah blah from the government (5, Insightful)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | more than 4 years ago | (#30161244)

I suppose y'all should have figured it out by now, but if not I'll spell it out and use small words. The Chinese government loves to pass new laws and announce new strategies. There is usually great fanfare, the press bleating like the contemptible sheep they are (the Chinese state-controlled press bleats too) and great discussions on the net as millions of electrons give their last and break up into neutrinos and photons. Then, six months later, nobody has heard of the act or law or whatever, because it's not enforced. This is the "secret" (pretty freaking obvious) of the Chinese government.

They want you to be in violation of something. With all the legislation, it is impossible to comply with every single law without driving yourself out of business. Everyone knows it, and the Chinese government (at central, provincial, city, and district levels, which are all different and have little relation with each other) knows it too. They like knowing that they can shut you down at any time, but are usually content to let things go as long as you play ball. This kind of ball-play can be laissez faire for years or it can be an "I am altering the deal, pray I don't alter it further" kind of situation. You really have no way of knowing how it will turn out, and the government likes it like that. This is why it's so important to have buddies in government who can warn you of upcoming problems or give you some lamb's blood to mark yourself so the inspectors pass you over. I had one high muckety-muck vice-director of the municipal propaganda ministry hold my product in his hand as if he were weighing it, and said it was about 80% legal. I couldn't puzzle it out, either it's legal or illegal, how can legality be a percentage, and a guess at that! Later I got it...I felt pretty dumb. It was obvious, only my cultural blinders kept me from seeing it.

And to those of you who are already hitting "reply" to say "durr, just like my country only my country is much worse", do you have a ministry of culture whose job it is to enhance socialist values? With lawyers and truncheons if necessary? You can joke all you like about capitalism taking over but there are plenty of true-believer Mao-worshipping socialists in the government.

Re:Blah blah blah from the government (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30162214)

You can joke all you like about capitalism taking over but there are plenty of true-believer Mao-worshipping socialists in the government.

I know, we elected him and his cronies back in 2008.

fr1st psot (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30161300)

the 3reaper In a [goat.cx]

Desireable means their profit and agenda first. (2, Interesting)

Bob_Who (926234) | more than 4 years ago | (#30161324)

Its called a dogmatic National Interest. Welcom to international super power politics and self interest. Its how we all feel indignantly justified in our ethnocentric human nature. If the media is from a "foreign" undesirable culture then please feel free to steal it since we won't let you buy it, and you are a criminal anyway. But the legitimate stuff that they sell, first and foremost. America just can't seem to wrap their minds around the fact that China, the most populous nation by far, is not a democracy. If it we're, they'd out vote us every time. Which is exactly how they handle us anyway. Its like trying to push a sleepy grumpy Yak up a mountain with a twig. Moooooo.

Don't let developers become part of the problem. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30161344)

The gaming rules make the games part of the communism enforcement machine. This is different than car manufacturing or tupperware. Saying you have to have communism party values in the game enforces this oppressive behavior. Then the developer becomes part of the problem. Don't let $$$ be a motivation for oppression.

Is it still worth releasing games in China? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30161404)

If I was a U.S. game shop I probably wouldn't even consider releasing in China. Does China really generate that much revenue to make it worthwhile?

You guys never cease to amaze me (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30161426)

Everyday there is someone whining about something in China. Each and every country has its own laws and regulations. If you didn't like it, don't do business there. Bunch of whining nerds who are clueless about China or any other foreign countries.

All American Developers MUST refuse. (1)

AndyTheCoderMan (1557467) | more than 4 years ago | (#30161882)

If you are an American and truly believe that our basic freedoms should be universal, then you are no less than a traitor to your own people if you agree to work under these guidelines. If a popular game like WoW was to make this stand you would have millions of people demanding change.

Re:All American Developers MUST refuse. (1)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | more than 4 years ago | (#30162084)

In the words of the immortal Inigo Montoya: "You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means." In America, treason is:
  • Making war against the United States
  • Giving aid and comfort to the enemy

That's it. It doesn't appear to say anything about exporting entertainment products. Oh wait, let me guess, you were just making an ignorant, wrong comment in order to be the biggest jerk possible to your fellow Americans. You know fuck-all about freedom and treason (and probably software development, too.)

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