China's Ministry of Culture has issued a circular demanding that game companies refrain from content that is "not up to standard" or offering "lowbrow cultural content that is having a negative effect on the healthy development of the industry".
There are more than 50 million gamers in China, a market that's growing by up to 50% a year, and is worth around $4 billion. The Chinese government has increasingly focused its interests on gaming, recently closing World of Warcraft for months due to what it described as "violations" though it has also been active in shutting targeted online and social destinations.
The circular stated that violent games "have adversely influenced consumers and especially the physical and mental health of minors." The government has ordered games companies to restrict its use of games that feature the slaying of humans or even monster-characters.
Companies are advised to "take the core socialist value system as the guide, strengthen cultural elements in products, and vigorously promote the spirit of the times and illustrious ethnic culture".