It’s been hinted at for months, but China has finally lifted its 13-year ban on video game consoles, a move that allows foreign video game companies–including Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo–to manufacture consoles within the Shanghai Free Trade Zone and sell them in the country after undergoing inspections by China’s cultural departments.
At $14 billion in revenue last year, China is the third largest video game market, according to Reuters. The country banned game consoles in 2000 over concerns of their impacts on children’s mental health. Preparing for this policy change, Microsoft partnered with Chinese company BesTV New Media Co. last year to develop family-friendly games. By loosening restrictions in Shanghai’s free-trade zone, China hopes to position the city as a global financial hub.AT