The government will start real-name registration for online game players this year, said Zhang Yijun, director of the General Administration of Press and Publication's technology and digital publication department.
Four online game companies' operations have been suspended after it was found that their software did not have the mandatory anti-addiction system, he said in Qingdao on Wednesday.
Monday, January 19, 2009
To be sure this affects only PC games, as the console market doesn't officially exist in China, but this is clearly one of the challenges companies like Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo will face in introducing their systems to China.
Would they have to design a completely new online service just for China, that forces users to present proof of identity and is monitored for sensitive content? Would doing so be worth the economic benefits? I imagine Microsoft and Nintendo could make the argument that it would be, but I doubt Sony can.
UPDATE: According to ars technica, this registration is for MMO players only, but of course that would be a large percentage of online PC gamers in China. Console gamers might not have to worry then, unless Xbox Live and the PSN get classified as MMOs, which I wouldn't be surprised if they did. (ars technica)