Apple is removing 39,000 games from the China App Store to meet the year-end deadline

Apple removed 39,000 game apps from its China store on Thursday. This was the largest removal ever done in a single day as the end of the year was set as the deadline for all game makers to obtain a license.

The shutdowns take place amid action by the Chinese authorities against unlicensed games.

Including the 39,000 games, Apple removed a total of more than 46,000 apps from its store on Thursday. According to the research company Qimai, the games affected by the sweep included Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed Identity and NBA 2K20.

Qimai also said that only 74 of the 1,500 paid games in the Apple Store survived the purge.

Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Apple first gave game makers a late-June deadline to submit a government-issued license number that allows users to make in-app purchases in the world’s largest game market.

Apple later extended the deadline to December 31st.

China’s Android app stores have long adhered to license terms. It’s not clear why Apple is enforcing them more strictly this year.

Analysts said the move comes as no surprise as Apple continues to fill in loopholes to comply with Chinese content regulators and it won’t impact Apple’s bottom line as much as previous moves.

“This key fulcrum of only accepting paid games with a game license, coupled with China’s extremely low number of foreign game licenses approved this year, is likely to see more game developers switch to an ad-supported model for their Chinese versions change.” “said Todd Kuhns, Marketing Manager at AppInChina, a company that helps overseas companies sell their apps.

© Thomson Reuters 2020

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