Today, on December 31, Apple has made the biggest single-day removal of game apps and removed 39,000 of them from its China store. This has been done to maintain the deadline of the end of this year for the game publishers to get a license. This exclusion comes to conform to Chinese regulations.
Along with these 39,000 apps, Apple has also removed other apps today making the total number of removal more than 46000. This exclusion affects games like Ubisoft title Assassin’s Creed Identity and NBA 2K20, according to report from research firm Qimai.
Qimai also reported that out of the top 1,500 paid games on the Apple store, only 74 could survive the dismissal.
The step comes in as the fulfillment of the notice of crackdown on unlicensed games by authorities of China. Apple did not make any immediate response to the request for comment.
Earlier, Apple gave an end-of-June deadline to the game publishers for submitting a government-issued license number to enable the users to make in-app purchases in the biggest market of games in the world. This deadline was then extended to December 31 by Apple.
However, the Android app stores of China have been compling with regulations on licenses for long. So Apple’s move of more strict norms is not very clear.
But according to the analysts, the step is not surprising as Apple continues to close the loopholes to conform with China’s content regulators. It will not directly affect the bottom line of the Cupertino-based tech giant as much as previous removals.
The marketing manager for AppInChina ( a firm to help overseas companies to distribute apps), Todd Kuhns, said, “However, this major pivot to only accepting paid games that have a game license, coupled with China’s extremely low number of foreign game licenses approved this year, will probably lead more game developers to switch to an ad-supported model for their Chinese versions”.