The App Store would look a little different in China today. According to at Reuters, Apple has removed around 39,000 games owned by developers and publishers who do not have the Chinese government’s International Standard Book Number (ISBN). Research by Qimai, a company specializing in China, reportedly revealed that many Western titles were included in the purge, including Assassin’s Creed Identity and NBA 2K20. According to Reuters, that leaves just 74 of the 1,500 top paying games. Some of the remaining free apps include Call of Duty: Mobile, Honor of kings and Game for peace, the Chinese version of PUBG Mobile.
The moves are not a huge surprise. Apple launched a similar crackdown earlier this summer, removing 30,000 apps – most of which were games, according to Bloomberg – which have not been approved by the National Press and Publication Administration (NPPA). His almost impossible to get an ISBN without a national publisher, which is why so many western studios partner with another company before launching their games in China.