The App Store in China started looking little blank today. According to Reuters, Apple has removed roughly 39,000 games owned by developers and publishers that don’t have an ISBN (International Standard Book Number) from the Chinese government.
A quick research done by Qimai, a specialist Chinese firm reported that many Western titles were included in the purge, including Assassin’s Creed Identity and NBA 2K20. According to Reuters, that leaves just 74 of the top 1,500 paid games. Some of the free apps that remain include Call of Duty: Mobile, Honor of Kings and Game for Peace, the Chinese version of PUBG Mobile.
Such removals are just a normal thing. Apple removed similar crackdown and removed 30,00 apps most of which were games, according to Bloomberg — that weren’t approved by the National Press and Publication Administration (NPPA). It’s almost impossible to obtain an ISBN without a domestic publisher, which is why so many Western studios partner with another company before launching their games in China.
Before, Apple would allow developers to publish their games while they waited for authorization from the NPPA, according to the Financial Times. But in February, Apple warned developers that they would need to have an ISBN by June 30th, otherwise they wouldn’t be able to update their games in the App Store.