Ho Chi Minh City authorities banned 20 online games during an inspection from August to the end of December last year, the city said at a conference Wednesday (January 4).
Most of the games banned were deemed too violent, involving a lot of shooting. Two of them, provided by VinaGame and FPT, were banned nationwide and one by VTC Intecom was only banned in HCMC.
The HCMC Department of Information and Communication also asked online game producers to eliminate duelling scenes from 29 games involving knife and martial arts fights.
FPT, VTC and Asiasoft have promised to comply by the end of March and their request has been approved by the department, as the providers would have to cooperate with their foreign counterparts to change any technical features of the games.
VinaGame provides most of the games that need to be changed, but the provider has shown no sign of compliance. The department said it would apply strong measures to force VinaGame make the games less violent.
During the inspection, city officials have also fined 190 Internet shops nearly VND175 million (US$9,000) for providing online games beyond the permitted time and suspended 66 shops located less than 200 meters from schools.
Statistics from HCMC Department of Education and Training showed that nearly 40 percent of 3,920 Internet shops around the city are located near schools.
Yet the city Information and Communication officials said they were not well-staffed to check every shop and that the department is yet to have consistent rules for the operation of these shops.
The department has asked Internet shops that allow customers to play online games to stop providing the service between 10 p.m. and 8 a.m. the next morning. The department had earlier considered cutting off the Internet connection to these shops during these hours.