This week, Chinese regulators have announced new anti-addictions guidelines aimed at curbing excessive game time and spending among minors. Similar restrictions have been in place for over a decade, but the new rules strengthen the country’s real name registration system, limit the amount minors can spend each month, and impose stricter curfews on gameplay.
Kids under 18 will be limited to 90 minutes of game time on weekdays, and three hours during weekends and holidays. They’ll also be restricted to playing between 8:00 and 22:00 each day – so no late-night MMO sessions. As analyst group Niko Partners details, Tencent has already had similar restrictions in place for a few years, and has been extending the reach of those time limits in preparation for these regulations.
Regulators have had softer time limits in place since 2007, restricting kids to three hours of daily play, though that restriction didn’t necessarily keep you from playing the game entirely – some game operators were able to simply reduce rewards for playing after the time limits were exceeded.
Beside’s China’s game curfew, there are also new spending limits. Kids under eight won’t be able to spend at all, while those between eight and 16 can spend ¥200 per month (roughly $29 / £22), while those between 16 and 18 can spend ¥400 ($47 / £44).
Along with all this, updates to the real name registration system will mean that it now compares citizens’ ID numbers in real-time directly against a database of valid IDs – which should make the system tougher for kids to crack. Publishers will also soon be required to implement an age rating system, though all rated games will still have to with existing content restrictions.