Tencent's Platform Suspended All Fishing Games; Other Platforms Have Yet To Catch Up

Last Friday, Tencent staff in a developer chat group posted a notice: "Due to the adjustment in the platform's strategy, all fishing games will be removed from app stores today, and there will no longer be fishing games on the platform. Games that are already available will be removed on the platform, but in-app updates will still be supported. Purchase settlements are not affected. Please be informed."

It is believed that Tencent's decision to remove fishing games may be due to the recently issued regulatory policy. Tencent’s official response took a similar standpoint, but with different wording, claiming they have “suspended the promotion and search of fishing games as a result of risk screening”, and players who have already downloaded the games on their devices can still “play and update the games as normal.”

In a typical fishing game, players spend gold to launch fishing nets to catch fish, and they earn gold or points for a successful catch. The final reward players win depends on the type of fish they have caught. The gameplay is quite similar to gambling, which is a sensitive subject in the Chinese gaming industry.

Fishing games became the top-grossing genre of casual games in China, and there have even been products with monthly revenues of over 100 million RMB After the market gradually stabilized, there are still 5 fishing games in the top 100 best-selling mobile games on the Chinese app store list.

According to the Press and Publication Administration website, there are as many as 805 fishing games that have publishing licenses. However, this is just the tip of the iceberg. Since 2019, not a single new fishing game has been issued a license in China. New fishing games after 2019 are normally operated in overseas markets, especially in the SEA region. As a result, there are many Chinese fishing game developers still out there that are not registered with Chinese officials.

As the notice said, mobile games related to fishing can no longer be found on the Tencent app store. The WeChat game center and QQ game center, which provide in-house developed and exclusive games by Tencent also no longer have fishing games available.

However, a large number of fishing mini-games still can be found and played as usual if you type the keyword "fishing" into the search box in WeChat.

As for other platforms, fishing games on Apple's app store and all Android app stores such as Huawei, OPPO, VIVO, and Xiaomi's are still up and ready to be downloaded.

 

Thus far, Tencent is the only company to unilaterally remove fishing games from their platform. Whether other platforms will follow suit remains unclear.

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