SCE challenged by Beijing’s restrictions
Sony feels China’s strict censorship laws are limiting the PlayStation 4’s potential in the country.
“We are still challenged somewhat with a censorship regime that we have to work with. This can be time-consuming,” SCE boss Andrew House told Reuters in a recent interview, adding that while the company still sees “tremendous potential for gaming as an entertainment medium in China,” its initial foray into the emerging market hasn’t exactly been “a rocket launch start.”
Sony released the PS4 released in China this March, looking to take advantage of the country’s recently lifted trade embargoes, which prohibited the sale of foreign gaming consoles for 14 years.
So far, the venture has proved unsuccessful. While a limited library of games certainly isn’t helping matters (games with excessive violence or negative representations of China, including Call of Duty, Killzone, and Bloodborne are banned from sale on the mainland), the Chinese market, by and large, just doesn’t seem to care for foreign-made games, let alone ones made for expensive consoles.
Even on smartphones or computers, the platforms of choice for Chinese gamers, western and Japanese-developed tiles have a difficult time succeeding in that country for a number of reasons. If foreign game makers want to have any hope at succeeding in the Chinese market, which is worth over $15 billion and growing at an rapid pace, they will have to tailor their approach accordingly.