(Last Updated On: December 31, 2020)

Apple has taken out 39,000 game apps from its China store, which is the largest removal to have been made within one day, as it sets year-end the deadline for all game publishers to be able to gain a licence.

This takedown has come at a time where more strictness on unlicensed games by Chinese authorities have come up.

Along with the 39,000 games, Apple has also taken out over 46,000 apps in total from their own store. Games that had been affected by this removal also contain Ubisoft title Assassin’s Creed Identity and NBA 2K20.

According to Qimai, a research company, 74 of the top 1,500 paid games on the Apple store have been able to hold on during this takeout.

At first, Apple had given a timeline to game publishers, which was the end-of-June, in order submit a government-issued licence number which allows users to make in-app purchases within the largest games market in the world. The deadline had later on been extended till December 31st. 

China’s Android app stores have been following the licence regulations for a while now so it is not completely clear why Apple wishes to make the rules stricter now.

Although analysts were not surprised as to why Apple chose to do this as it keeps trying to make the loopholes smaller so as to now fall in line with China’s content regulators, and this will also not have an immediate effect on Apple’s bottom line compared to prior removals of apps.

Todd Kuhns, the marketing manager from AppInChina, a company that helps overseas companies to distribute their apps said, “However, this major pivot to only accepting paid games that have a game licence, coupled with China’s extremely low number of foreign game licences approved this year, will probably lead more game developers to switch to an ad-supported model for their Chinese versions.”

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