Apple sent a reminder to game developers July 8 about its plans for the removal if they didn’t meet regulatory requirements for payments by the end of the month, Qimai said, citing an email from the iPhone maker. To comply with Chinese law (At the request of the Chinese government), Apple has removed nearly 42,000 games from the App Store in China since July 1 because these apps didn’t have proper licenses.
Apple has actually been gradually removing thousands of applications from the App Store for this reason. The report explained that Apple is working to comply with strict gaming regulations in China, which require that developers gain approval from Chinese regulators:
Foreign companies are not permitted to directly apply for the license. They have to partner with local companies to legally launch their paid games in China. It can take months for game makers to have their titles approved.
Niko Partners analyst Daniel Ahmad over email. “We expect thousands of games to be removed from the China App Store this year,” he said. For years, China has been the No. 1 mobile game market in the world, and it generated the highest revenue of any country on Apple’s App Store.. With 2019 revenues of $12.6 billion, according to measurement firm Sensor Tower.
Market researcher Niko Partners found that Apple removed 14,914 games in July.. Ahead of a July 31 deadline to comply with a 2016 regulation that requires games to have a publishing license.. (International Standard Book Number, or ISBN) to operate in China. It removed another 26,815 games August 1.
Niko Partners analysts reviewed the top iOS games in China when the announcement was first made by Apple and found that 97 of the top 100 grossing games on the China App Store have legal ISBNs. Foreign companies have to have a Chinese game publisher apply to get an ISBN from the Chinese National Press and Publication Administration. That process takes about 80 business days, according to publisher Cocos. The NPPA approves or denies games based on its censorship laws.
Even with the recent removals from the China App Store.. More than 179,000 games are available in the country for iPhone and iPad owners. Around 160,000 of those games are available for free, and therefore not subject to the regulatory requirements that affect paid titles.