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COD Mobile gets approval in China in the changing climate for imported games

The game can be pre-ordered on Tencent's official codm website operated by QQ

China has always been a hard market to enter for foreign gaming companies. Even a game like COD Mobile had to wait 10 months to get approval in China. However, the wait is over as Call of Duty Mobile is finally available for pre-registration.

Publishing a mobile game on Chinese iOS or Android store is not as easy as it is in the overseas. Google Play is not available in China, and that makes it even more daunting for developers and publishers. The current regulator is called the State Administration of Press and Publication (SAPP). This entity took control over digital games regulations in 2018, with considerable disruption in the game approvals process. You have to make sure the game does not contain any content culturally or politically sensitive to the Chinese government, let alone the infinite months of a wait to get the approval. This is the reason why many western publishers see it as next to impossible. But the Chinese tech behemoth Tencent didn’t.

Call of Duty Mobile is finally entering China

The year-long wait is finally over for Activision and TiMi studios (Tencent’s largest internal studio). Tencent has now got exclusive publishing rights from the Chinese government for Call of Duty: Mobile. Other big names that got approval were Harry Potter: Magic Awakening and Total war: Arena.

COD Mobile china

This is a remarkable achievement considering the fact that the violence and gore are an integral part of Call of Duty’s gameplay. This is why the Chinese version of PUBG mobile was overhauled in 2019 with the name being changed to “Game For Peace.”

Although we don’t expect the same level of violence and gore as we see in the Activision and Garena version, what tweaks in gameplay are made for the Chinese version of Call of Duty: Mobile is yet to be seen.

When will COD Mobile release in China

The game is currently in pre-registration. And within a day, the game has seen massive numbers. However, there is no release date as of now. We’ll update this space as we get the release date information.

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Sagar Sunny

So, does this mean Tencent no longer has control over Indian/Global version but full control over Chinese version? Could this be seen as a fair trade off between Activision and Tencent?

Ronald Aparajit

Activision has already cut ties with Tencent on CODM, although that 4.9% stake still exists. Tencent has the publishig rights in China, but the IP still remains with Activision. It couldn’t be called as a trade off as Tencent didn’t give up any deal to get the publishing rights.

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