WTO Ruling May Offer Game Biz Access to Chinese Market

August 13, 2009 -

Video game publishers could gain direct access to the massive Chinese market following a ruling by the World Trade Organization that China may not invoke culture-based censorship to block foreign media imports such as books, games and movies.

According to Reuters, the WTO ruling came in response to an April, 2007 complaint filed by the United States:

The WTO ruling could potentially affect how foreign video game companies operate in China.

U.S. video game titans such as Electronic Arts, Activision Blizzard and Take Two Interactive, are not allowed to operate games directly in China, or through joint ventures with local firms. They instead license games to local operators or co-develop games with local firms.

But the WTO ruling was unlikely to overcome China's determination to govern the virtual landscape, said Dick Wei, vice president of equity research with JP Morgan in Hong Kong.


Re: WTO Ruling May Offer Game Biz Access to Chinese Market

Well atlease the gaming industry has a stepping stone when it comes to marketing to china.


Re: WTO Ruling May Offer Game Biz Access to Chinese Market

Why not return the favor? Since China blocks foreign culture yet wants to promote their own, declare this hypocrisy pathetic and block all game export from China as long as they block other culture?

Re: WTO Ruling May Offer Game Biz Access to Chinese Market

Re: WTO Ruling May Offer Game Biz Access to Chinese Market

How would the WTO enforce this?

Re: WTO Ruling May Offer Game Biz Access to Chinese Market

Exactly what I was thinking. Embargo on the product? Now you're doing China's work for them.

Re: WTO Ruling May Offer Game Biz Access to Chinese Market

Why not? How can China be part of globalisation and open its doors to massive foreign investment, but pick and choose based on what it sees as a cultural threat?

I guess it's what happens with a one-state government. I'd like to add that I've been to China and the government, in my opinion, wasn't evil or oppressive, as comments to articles like this often give the impression.

Re: WTO Ruling May Offer Game Biz Access to Chinese Market

Hai guyz, I totally went to this place once, so I'm an expert on the government there. kthxbye

Seriously man, denying the oppressiveness of the Chinese government is ignorance of the highest order. It's like going to North Korea and saying that it seems like a totally cool place because you never left the government guided approved tour.

I'll take the hundreds of news reports/studies/stories over your anecdotal evidence.

Re: WTO Ruling May Offer Game Biz Access to Chinese Market

Looking back at my post, I'm sorry if I gave off that impression - I mean that China isn't some Stalin-esque hellhole, with secret government agents constantly watching Westerners or anything similar. There was absolutely nothing like that, beyond registering where I was staying (at a friends) when I sent in my visa application.

Comment sections from here to Eurogamer and IGN contain opinions that China isn't like that. It's not even effectively communist anymore, but it is a one-party state. I've also read plenty of media stories about its human rights issues too.

Re: WTO Ruling May Offer Game Biz Access to Chinese Market

with secret government agents constantly watching Westerners or anything similar. There was absolutely nothing like that

How would you know, they're secret!! "Badum-Tish"


There was an interesting documentary on over here in the UK called Paul Merton in China, he visited a living village/museum on Communism and was a on a tour car with a group of government officials. It's a good example of something that came up time and time again, the locals are fine but a Westerner asking about Communism is not a comfortable subject.


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E. Zachary KnightNeeneko, No problem. In juicy conversations, key points of discussion get pushed off quickly.10/02/2014 - 11:36am
NeenekoA rather scary censorship. I have known too many people and small companies destroyed by such pressure, so this unnerves me at a pretty personal level.10/02/2014 - 11:36am
NeenekoMy bad, I always have trouble working out what is going on in shoutbox10/02/2014 - 11:34am
Papa MidnightTo a point stated earlier, it very much is a form of indirect censorship. Rather than engage in rhetoric and debate, one side has instead chosen to cut-off opposing viewpoints at the knees and silence them via destroying their means of income.10/02/2014 - 11:28am
Papa MidnightNeeneko: the topic of Intel's dropping of Gamasutra is indeed part of this very ongoing conversation.10/02/2014 - 11:26am
NeenekoThis can't be good... http://games.slashdot.org/story/14/10/02/1558213/intel-drops-gamasutra-sponsorship-over-controversial-editorials10/02/2014 - 11:25am
Andrew EisenAnd there's also the consideration that the fact that a former IGN editor was one of the people who worked on the game's localization may be unknown (although in this specific case, probably not. Drakes been very visible at events IGN covers).10/02/2014 - 11:24am
Papa MidnightAlso, let's face it: people seem to believe that a conflict of interest can yield only positive coverage. Who is to say that Audrey Drake did not leave on bad terms with IGN (with several bridges burned in their wake)? That could yield negative coverage.10/02/2014 - 11:23am
Papa MidnightThat's a fair question, and it's where things get difficult. While Jose Otero may not have any cause to show favor, Jose's editor may, as may the senior editor (and anyone else involved in the process before it reaches publication).10/02/2014 - 11:21am
Andrew EisenWould such disclosure still be required if Fantasy Life were reviewed by Jose Otero, who wasn't hired by IGN until sometime after Drake left?10/02/2014 - 11:19am
Papa MidnightIn that case, a disclosure might be in order. The problem, of course, is applying it on a case-by-case basis; As EZK said, what's the cut-off?10/02/2014 - 11:19am
E. Zachary KnightAndrew, a disclosure would probably be in order as she likely still has a strong relationship with IGN staff. My follow up question would be "What is the statute of limitations on such a requirement?"10/02/2014 - 11:09am
E. Zachary KnightSleaker, my hyperbole was intended to illustrate the difference and similarity between direct censorship and indirect censorship.10/02/2014 - 11:07am
Andrew EisenOpen Question: Former IGN Nintendo editor Audrey Drake now works in the Nintendo Treehouse. Do you think it's important for IGN to disclose this fact in the review of Fantasy Life, a game she worked on? Should IGN recuse itself from reviewing the game?10/02/2014 - 11:07am
E. Zachary KnightSleaker, My thoughts on disclosure: http://gamepolitics.com/2014/09/25/what-your-gamergate-wish-list#comment-29598710/02/2014 - 11:02am
Sleaker@EZK - using hyperbole is a bit silly. I'm asking a serious question. Where's the line on disclosure as relates to journalistic involvement in the culture they report on?10/02/2014 - 10:59am
E. Zachary KnightSo a journalist reporting on general gaming news mentions a specific developer and their game involved in said news, and it is suddenly some nefarious conspiracy to hide a conflict of interest. I think someone is reaching for validation.10/02/2014 - 10:53am
Andrew EisenYes, imagine anyone insisting that two utterences of the phrase "Depression Quest creator Zoe Quinn" wasn't influenced by something happening in the future!10/02/2014 - 10:52am
Sleaker@Pap Midnight - So wouldn't it be any journalist writing about general gaming culture would need to disclose any and all links/ties to said general gaming culture to be ethical? Also @EZK to use you're own methodology, I'm still curious on the question10/02/2014 - 10:49am
KronoSure none of those are reviews, but it is positive exposure, which as illustrated by The Fine Young Capitalists, is pretty damn important for getting people to check out your work.10/02/2014 - 10:32am

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