If China does lift its console ban it will take some time
Following up on China possibly lifting the thirteen year old ban on video game consoles as mentioned in their newspaper the ChinaDaily, it’s not looking good. Originally it was said that China’s Ministry of Culture claimed that China was considering lifting the ban.
Lisa Hanson, founder of Niko Partners, a market research firm focused on the Asian game sector, said:
“There are rumors because someone at the ChinaDaily said that there are rumors. Nothing’s changed. Somebody at the Ministry of Culture might have said they were looking at overturning the ban, but they say that to me every year. They’ve been saying that to me for years and years: ‘We’re always looking at options,’ or ‘this is always up for evaluation.’”
Gaming in China right now is PC based. The big titles that are allowed through the red tape are often highly edited down by strict regulations. With the recent panda expansion in World of Warcraft, even bones had to be programmed out. Just because video game consoles are banned from China, it doesn’t mean China is without. The borders bring in the consoles and often they are sold in daylight at gray markets. While technically illegal, the law enforcement doesn’t crack down abusively on it; when a country doesn’t support a system though it is difficult to use it to the full potential.
Even if consoles are allowed in China it will be a slow integration and not like the flood gate that is commonly perceived. The reason consoles were originally banned was due to their addictive nature and not the violence. We’ve seen slow positive changes in China towards video games; I predict that eventually video games consoles will be allowed again in China.
I would love to see Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft compete to grab that market though.