China requires all mobile games to request a license from its National Press and Publication Administration before they can be released. To enforce these rules both Apple and Android have been removing thousands of apps from their app stores of non-compliant developers.
According to data from Sensor Tower, approximately 48,000 mobile games were removed from the Apple App Store during December 2020 following a crackdown on publishers.
Over 5,500 titles had already been removed in July 2020, followed by 27,000 games in August.
The removal of 48,000 during December marks the largest purge of mobile titles yet.
Sensor Tower estimates that the removed games had generated a lifetime value of over $3 billion since 2012.
One title generated $85.5 million from player spending since its release in 2019.
Around 55 of the removed games had a revenue of over $10 million.
In terms of downloads, the removed games had seen over 4.8 billion downloads in China since 2012 and 55.5 million installs.
Among the most notable games that were removed were Asphalt 8 from Gameloft, Fruit Ninja from Halfbrick, Hole.io from Voodoo, and Hay Day from Supercell.
The latest findings highlight that China is taking regulations seriously and pose a warning to future developers to ensure their games are compliant.