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Bland Theft Auto: China censorship weighs on games consoles

22
Apr
2014

By Paul Carsten BEIJING (Reuters) – China has fully lifted a 14-year ban on selling video game consoles, but foreign console makers hoping to make a killing in a potentially huge new market will first have to find a way around the country’s onerous censorship rules. The likes of Microsoft Corp, Sony Corp and Nintendo Co will henceforth be able to manufacture and sell consoles in China through “foreign-invested enterprises” in Shanghai’s free trade zone, Shanghai’s government said on its website on Monday. China is the world’s third biggest gaming market, where revenues grew by more than a third in 2012 to nearly $14 billion last year, but piracy and the dominance of PC and mobile gaming will leave little room for legitimate console and game sales. Console games will also have to win approval from Shanghai’s local culture department, which will ensure they do not harm China’s national unity, territorial integrity or reputation – or promote racial hatred, obscenity, gambling, violence or drugs.

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