If you're living in China and are anxious to get in on the whole Pokemon GO [Free] phenomenon (well, what's left of it anyway) then I'm afraid I've got some bad news. According to a report in Reuters, the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television (SAPPRFT) will not license Pokemon GO or similar games for release in China until they've had adequate time to evaluate the risks involved with doing so. What sort of risks? According to the games panel of the China Audio-Video and Digital Publishing Association, which is governed by the SAPPRFT, those risks include "threat to geographical information security and the threat to transport and the personal safety of consumers." Seeing as how playing Pokemon GO has been linked to accidents and even deaths due to distracted driving and walking practices, I'd say they actually have a pretty good point!

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What's strange about this story is that shortly after Pokemon GO released last summer and quickly became a (mostly) worldwide sensation, a clone that mimicked the same type of functionality as Pokemon GO called City Spirits Go [Free] WAS released in China and quickly rose up the charts similar to its officially-licensed counterpart. So how come the knockoff version gets a pass and the official version doesn't? Who knows! While I think it's nice that the government is trying to assess the situation surrounding augmented reality games before allowing them whole hog, I do hope that this eventually results in the games getting approved and released as I'm positive Pokemon GO won't be the last mega-successful augmented reality game we'll be seeing.

[Via Reuters]

  • bestkevin

    Well they deserved it

  • HelperMonkey

    Perhaps the risks they are worried about are something along the lines of nefarious actors working against The Great People's Party somehow manipulating Pokéstops to draw hordes of people to specific places at specific times for unsavory purposes.
    Who knows what kind of tricky ways this could be used as a work-around against the state's controls on social networking, etc?
    If it can prompt masses to mindlessly wander into freeway traffic, maybe it can prompt masses to mindfully march into the city square!

    • hkgsulphate

      "masses to mindfully march into the city square"
      I would like to see that

      - love from Hong Kong

  • Tallgeese

    Counterfeiting is how China keeps its money within China... Please don't be afraid to do just a little bit of research, TA (minus Shaun and whenever you guys do interviews), you guys might actually educate someone on how the world works... Also time's up as of January 1st and the game still sucks for all but the sternest of fans, so, congratulations! You guys at Niantic know growth should always be on the opposite direction, right? Updates should be continual? Avatar (if pokemon clothing is unavailable) clothing options always expanding? Holiday events meaningful? Some sort of narrative to the game? A million things you could have done? I'm surprised and a bit saddened that no one in competition with you has taken advantage of your distressing fumble. I'm not sure if you heard but people really go all out for bare minimum efforts...

  • SashJ

    Its not the game designers job to fix other people stupidity.