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Gamers Under the Age of 18 Now Have a Gaming Curfew in China

November 7, 2019, 4:19 PM UTC

China, one of the biggest markets for the video game industry, is about to see some major changes.

The Chinese government has set time restrictions for players under 18, forbidding them from playing video games between 10 p.m. and 8 a.m. and mandating weekday limits of 90 minutes. On weekends and holidays, players can now play a maximum of 180 minutes.

The moves, announced by China’s General Administration of Press and Publication, are meant to combat governmental fears about video game addiction.

Other new rules include spending limits for minors on in-game purchases and a requirement that players use their real names for online gaming accounts. China also suggested a revision of the game rating system in that country which would improve guidelines for parents.

China has, for years, been an area of increasing importance for game makers. And, as early as April of this year, it appeared the government was becoming more accepting of them. In 2015, it reversed a 15-year old ban on game consoles and earlier this year gave permission for Nintendo to sell its Switch console in the country.

Market research firm Niko Partners estimates the number of gamers in China will hit 768 million by 2022, which is why so many game publishers are eager to crack the market.

“China is by far the world’s largest games market and the single most important market for both mobile and PC games, and it’s growing faster than expected,” said Lisa Cosmas Hanson, managing partner of Niko Partners, in a statement last year.

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