A new game called “Sheep a Sheep” that sits within Tencent’s WeChat surged in popularity earlier this month despite ongoing restrictions on China’s gaming industry.
A new game that’s gone viral in China hit people’s screens with surprising speed at a time when gaming giants such as NetEase have waited months for approval to launch games.
That’s because the new game, called Sheep a Sheep, sits inside ByteDance’s Douyin and Tencent’s messaging app WeChat as a mini-program. Users can play the game within the apps.
“WeChat and ByteDance don’t currently require a game license to publish their HTML5 games on their platforms,” said Rich Bishop, CEO of AppInChina, which publishes international software in China.
“But this is likely to change over the next few months as enforcement of existing regulations intensifies,” he said.
HTML5 games are built with coding tools similar to those used for websites and can be easily distributed across platforms.
WeChat’s mini-program guidelines for online games did not include a specific requirement for a game license. The document did call for qualification certificates required based on game category.
As for ByteDance, it wasn’t immediately clear from online developer guidelines, but an administrator’s response to an official online forum query last year stated that a license wasn’t mandatory for games that didn’t have in-app purchases.