The developers are worried about Apple's sudden decision to start controlling app store games licenses issued by the Chinese government for titles with in-app purchases. Indeed, the new requirement could result in the cancellation of many games in the App Store.
Apple has informed developers that they will need to provide license numbers for the games in the App Store by June 30 if they wish to continue to be available for purchase in mainland China. Numbers should only be provided by developers who offer paid games in the App Store or those who buy in the app. Applications that generate revenue through integrated advertising are currently exempt from the restriction.
Licenses are issued by the Chinese government and allow you to play a game and earn money from it. To get a license, companies must go through an approval process and sign the game copyright through a Chinese agency. The process is quite expensive for non-Chinese companies. Apple has so far allowed developers based outside of China to offer their products in the App Store without the need for this license. Now Apple has decided that everyone must comply with these regulations in force in China. This adds an additional burden to foreign developers.
Rich Bishop, CEO of AppInChina, suggests that many businesses may see their sales drop suddenly in late June, as most of the games currently on the store are unlicensed.
China is a major source of revenue for the App Store, but games have not been immune to intervention by the Chinese government. During a period between March and December 2018, the Chinese authorities stopped approving game licenses, delaying the launch of games such as Fortnite, Call of Duty Mobile and PUBG.
The result of all of this will be that the major gaming franchises are likely to survive without any particular problem. Freelance developers, on the other hand, will be more affected if they can no longer publish their titles on the Chinese App Store.