If you have a game currently available on the Chinese iOS app store, it might be coming down soon.
Building an international audience has never been an easy task. User acquisition aside: localization, fiscal compliance, and international marketing and content standards are just a few things development teams need to address when entering foreign markets. If that wasn't enough to make any development team's head spin, China’s new content review process is about to make launching an app in China even harder. Beginning July 1, the Chinese State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television (SAPPRFT) will be vetting all new foreign and domestic titles before they’re available to Chinese consumers. Titles that are already available via the Chinese app markets will have to undergo a formal SAPPRFT review by October 1, 2016.
Chinese development teams will have the benefit of a simplified process which guarantees a review term of 20 days - 18 days if the content is absent of a storyline. Foreign teams aren’t quite as lucky. The new approval process does not define a timetable for foreign content review and removes any influence Apple previously had on China’s foreign content policies.
SAPPRFT’s application process is bound to be challenging for non-Chinese developers to understand and follow, but foreign developers are not without options. Third-party service providers are beginning to offer aid with the process to the tune of $2,000-5,000 USD per engagement. If that price tag seems steep, working with a local publisher could be the best option for small-mid size developers hoping to make a splash in the Chinese markets.
Nonetheless, both Chinese and foreign developers should be adding an additional 1-2 months to their go to market plans and be prepared to submit source code, as source code is required as part of the application material.
Concept Art House/Spellgun's founder and CEO, James Zhang, has a long history of speaking at GamesBeat and this year is no exception.
Concept Art House/Spellgun team hosted over 90 meetings, explored the expo floor, sat in on numerous talks at GDC 2017.