Apple has started to put its foot down on paid games or games with in-app purchases that have not received its license from Chinese regulators.
According to Niko Partners’ Daniel Ahmad, Apple has removed over 8,000 games from the App Store in China. They are expecting to remove even more by the end of the month.
Daniel Ahmad shared an email that was issued to developers with free to play games or premium titles that include in-game purchases.
Apple has removed around 8,000 games since July 1 when it started requiring license numbers for paid or IAP games operating in China.
A new notice states that all games without a license number will be removed by July 31.
— Daniel Ahmad (@ZhugeEX) July 8, 2020
In the email, it is stated that Chinese law requires all such games to have a publishing license number or ISBN from the National Press and Publication Administration. This is the government body that regulates game releases.
July 31 will be the deadline for developers to submit their approval numbers. Any game that does not have one by the date will be removed from the China mainland Apple App Store. Developers will be able to provide a license after the date.
Ahmad stated that just over 8,000 games have been removed from the digital storefront between July 1 and July 8.
He followed this up stating: “The current clean up is a long-overdue correction of the market.” He mentioned that Android stores have been enforcing this rule since back in 2016. On the iOS side of things though, there have been loopholes that allow devs to launch on the App Store without a license.
Back in 2016, China created a new law that games with in-app purchases or paid games must first be approved by the gaming regulator before it is released.
It looks like Apple is cracking down hard on this one and plan to crack down even more in the weeks to come.