Apple has finally taken a step towards cleaning its App Store in China by kicking 39000 game apps off its store. This is the biggest removal ever in a single day, as Apple had already set a year-end deadline for all the game publishers.
This removal came down in the middle of a crackdown undertaken by the Chinese authorities against unlicensed games. Apple took down more than 46000 apps in total, including the 39000 games from its store last Thursday. According to research firm Qimai, games that came down with the sweep included Ubisoft title Assassin's Creed Identity and NBA2K20.
Qimai also confirmed that only 74 game apps of the top 1500 paid games on the App Store survived the expulsion.
Apple has already given the game publishers an end-of-June deadline to submit a government-issued license number enabling users to make in-app purchases in the world's biggest games market, which was later extended to Dec 31.
This move was no surprise as Apple continues to close loopholes to fall in line with China's content regulators, and would not directly affect Apple's bottom line as much as previous removals.
According to Todd Kuhns, marketing manager for AppInChina, the turn to only accepting paid games that have a game licence will lead to more game developers to switch to an ad-supported model for their Chinese versions.