Apple removed 39,000 game apps and more than 46,000 apps on its China store Thursday that lacks a license from local regulators. Apple set year-end as deadline for all game publishers to obtain a license.
This is the biggest purge ever in a single day in Apple’s history. This massive purge includes some of the popular games such as Ubisoft title Assassin’s Creed Identity and NBA 2K20, according to research firm Qimai. Qimai also noted only 74 of the top 1,500 paid games on Apple store survived the purge. It is not clear, how many of these app and game publishers applied for a license and either denied or not yet approved.
Apple initially gave game and app developers an end-of-June deadline and then extended it to Dec. 31 to submit a government-issued license number.
Todd Kuhns, marketing manager for AppInChina, a firm that helps overseas companies distribute their apps in China said “Major pivot to only accepting paid games that have a game license, coupled with China’s extremely low number of foreign game licenses approved this year, will probably lead more game developers to switch to an ad-supported model for their Chinese versions.”
It would be interesting to see whether US would do anything in response. Apple hasn’t commented on it yet as of this publication.