Online games content requirements prior to their release on the territory of the PRC.
online game (either it’s mobile or desktop one) should pass through a procedure
of receiving a certificate called “游戏版号” (Game
Publishing Number or GPN). This certificate is issued by the “国家新闻出版广播电影电视总局”
(Governmental Administration Office of Publishing, Cinema, Radio and
Television). In this article we will take a look at the preparation for
receiving such certificate, in other words, what your online game should not
have to get the certificate without any problems. Here is a list of general
requirements for online games contents:
– First of all, the game should not have any illegal content, violence propaganda, terrorism, and anything related to it.
-Any game, regardless of its genre, should have a limitation of expenses, spendings, or bets. It doesn’t matter if you spend your virtual chips in Beat the Landlord, level up your character in game called “王者之光”, or buy new wallpapers for online chess. A game, that has no such limitation is considered to be gambling and will not be able to get GPN. The specific amount of expenses is not indicated anywhere, but covertly the rumors say there is a limit of 50 yuan (in game equivalent) per one transaction and 1000 yuan total expenses per day.
-The exchange of in-game virtual currency or valuables for real money is strictly prohibited. It doesn’t matter if it is a direct exchange of in-game currency for real money or other valuables, mobile phone replenishment won in a weekly competition, a game that has such functionality is automatically defined as gambling.
-No fees are taken from the player, regardless of the money or gaming equipment won and lost. It’s simple, if there is a possibility for a player to win 2 million chips, that player gets 2 million chips without any commissions or extra fees. If a player decides to break a bunch of expensive equipment into crystals in a game, the use of a breaking stone should also be free of charge.
-The loading screen of a game should have a notification like “抵制不良游戏，拒绝盗版游戏。注意自我保护，谨防受骗上当。适度游戏益脑，沉迷游戏伤身。合理安排时间，享受健康生活” which has the following meaning “resist the harmful influence of games, do not play pirated games. Take good care of yourself, beware of fraud. Protect your brain from influence coming from games and avoid danger for your health. Plan your time reasonably and enjoy a healthy life”.
-Games should not have English words and traditional Chinese characters. The only exceptions are technical abbreviations like IP, DNS, CDN and art forms that do not have semantic load, for example, traditional Chinese characters in a form of an image puzzle are allowed. This requirement is quite understandable.
-The absence of nude or semi-nude female bodies. Images of female bodies should be covered with clothes below the neck and above knees.
-If a player performs an action in the game, success probability of which is lower than 100%, then the player should be warned about successful or unsuccessful result of such action. A good example would be the game Hearthstone, where you can see the chance of getting a card of a certain color when opening a booster card pack.
-Games should not have discrimination in the amounts of replenishments players make for their accounts. That’s one of the most sensible requirements, right? It means, that the chance of getting a good loot from a raid boss in the game is same for all players, either super-premium ones or the ones that have basic free accounts. Therefore, all premium features in the game practically ceased their influence on the game process after getting such a restriction.
-All sensitive topics, words and expressions (socially dangerous, resonant and alike) should be banned from the game. Naturally, in any place where players can create their own content: nicknames, avatars, etc. The topic of block lists is quite extensive and can’t be covered in the format of this article.
-Player transaction data must be stored for at least 180 days, this applies not only to the account replenishments, but also to the transactions made in game virtual currency.
-Games should not have criminal-related vocabulary like “buying stolen goods”, “rip off”, “speculator”, etc.
-Virtual goods in games should not be or look like real brands, should not be prototypes of real brands, recognizable or confusingly similar.
-The players identity must be confirmed by providing information on real ID card number and full name of the player. This can be done by appropriate solutions like verification that a cellphone number belongs to a person with a specific name, bank card ownership and much more.
-Juvenile players playing time should be controlled. It’s quite simple: the real ID card number includes information about the player’s date of birth, after checking that number it’s easy to recognize the player’s real age. If the player’s age is below 18 years old, such player should not be allowed to play more than 5 hours per day. There are other limitations as well, like if the total playing time during the day is more than 3 hours, then the game rewards are to be reduced by 50%. If the total playing time during the day is more than 5 hours, then rewards are 0. This is one more extensive topic that we will review in another article.
-Games should not have buttons that don’t work, or signs like “to be implemented”, “coming soon” and so on.
-Elements of marriage or cohabitation and alike are not prohibited, but highly unrecommended.
In this article we have reviewed basic requirements for games in PRC. In the next article we will see information on filling of documents and related.