Apple removed 39,000 game apps from its China store on Thursday stating that it had set year-end as the deadline for all game publishers to get a license. It marks to be the biggest removal ever in a single day.
The company took this action amid a crackdown on unlicensed games run by Chinese authorities.
Apple removed more than 46,000 apps in total from its store on Thursday including the 39,000 game apps. Some of these games include Ubisoft titles Assassin’s Creed Identity and NBA2K20, according to research firm Qimai.
Qimai also revealed that only 74 of the top 1,500 paid games on the Apple store endured the removal. The company had earlier given an end-of-June deadline to acquire a government-issued licence number allowing users to make in-app purchases. Apple had later extended the deadline to December 31.
Although China’s Android app stores have been complying with licence regulations, it is not clear why Apple is enforcing them more strictly this year. Experts have said that the strict action taken by Apple is no surprise as it regularly keeps looking at the loopholes to fall in line with China’s content regulators. Further, it would not directly affect Apple’s bottom line as much as previous removals
Todd Kuhns, marketing manager for AppInChina, a company that helps overseas companies distribute their apps said, “However, 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 ad-supported model for their Chinese versions”.