Spurred on by rampant piracy and illegal online game servers, China's State Press and Publication Administration, along with other agencies, announced that they will crackdown on all illegal Internet game activities.

Set to begin on January 1, 2004, the crackdown will target sellers of bootleg games as well as the Internet cafes that cater to and allow illegal games to be played.

The China Daily newspaper quotes statistics that show at least 60% of Chinese Internet game players use software to cheat on Internet games. This then causes a daily loss of 100,000 CNY (US$12,000) for Internet game companies. Popular games in China include domestic and international titles like Mu, Counter Strike, and Quake.

Meanwhile other game companies are not so worried about the crackdown. Moxze Games' representative Maggie Wang says, "When we entered this market three years ago we knew that piracy would always be a problem. So instead of making games for client-side use, we placed our games on the servers and have all of our game players access the game through a simple web browser. It eliminates any way that someone can pirate our games and we've been quite successful, as our Zhanshen.com game has had over 2 million registered players in the last three years."


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