China introduces a new age-rating system for games

The China Audio-Video and Digital Publishing Association (CADPA) has introduced a new age-rating system for video games.

As reported by the South China Morning Post, the government-backed trade body has divided games into three categories – 8+, 12+ and 16+. Furthermore, the rating is represented by different colours, green, blue and yellow, respectively.

“The focus of this standard is very clear,” said CADPA chairman Zhang Yijun.

“It highlights compliant publishing and the appropriate use of online games. It is primarily aimed at providing positive guidance for underage consumers.”

Announced at the Chinese Games Industry Annual Conference (China GIAC), the new system is officially known as the Online Game Age-Appropriateness Warning.

Coming of age

Moreover, the new age-ratings were recommended by a group of 54 companies, two of which were Chinese tech giants Tencent and NetEase. As explained by Niko Partners senior analyst Daniel Ahmad on Twitter, there were 41 revisions before the government approved the scheme.

“This new age rating system has been in trial stages and revised 41 times. Each age rating has its own specification that must be followed,” said Ahmad.

“The age rating for each game must be displayed appropriately on the game website, login screen and in other relevant materials.”

China is known to have strict regulations when it comes to games. In November 2019, country officials chose to half the amount of time under 16s can spend on games by half, to 90 minutes a day.

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