Apple Removes 39,000 Games From China App Store to Meet Year-End Deadline

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Apple removed 39,000 game apps on its China store Thursday, the biggest removal ever in a unmarried day, as it set year-end as deadline for all game publishers to obtain a licence.

The takedowns come amid a crackdown on unlicensed games by Chinese authorities.

Including the 39,000 games, Apple removed more than 46,000 apps in complete from its store on Thursday. Games affected by the sweep included Ubisoft title Murderer’s Creed Identity and NBA 2K20, according to research firm Qimai.

Qimai also said only 74 of the top 1,500 paid games on Apple store survived the purge.

Apple did not immediately respond to a request for remark.

Apple to begin with gave game publishers an end-of-June deadline to submit a government-issued licence number enabling users to make in-app purchases on the earth’s biggest games market.

Apple later extended the deadline to December 31.

China’s Android app stores have long complied with regulations on licences. It’s not lucid why Apple is enforcing them more strictly this year.

Analysts said the move was once no surprise as Apple continues to shut loopholes to fall in line with China’s satisfied regulators, and would indirectly impact Apple’s backside line as much as preceding removals.

“On the other hand, 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 advertisement-supported mannequin for their Chinese versions,” said Todd Kuhns, marketing manager for AppInChina, a firm that helps out of the country companies hand out their apps.

© Thomson Reuters 2020

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