Shenzhen-based Tencent, the world's largest gaming company, received its first commercial game licence in a year and a half for an action game titled "Metal Slug: Awakening", the list published by the National Press and Public Administration showed.

Unlike in most other countries, video games need approvals from regulators before a release in China, which is also the world's largest gaming market. When Beijing cracked down on the gaming industry last August, it initiated a nine-month freeze on the licence approval process.

NetEase, China's second largest gaming company behind Tencent, also received a licence this month for a role-playing game titled "Journey to the West: Return", its second licence since the freeze was lifted in April after securing one in September.

A Tencent subsidiary also received a licence in September but it was for an educational game with no monetisation.

No licences were granted in October, when the 20th Party Congress was underway in Beijing.

In a call with analysts on Thursday, Tencent president Martin Lau said he expected licences for Tencent to come through quickly.

(Reporting by Twinnie Siu; Editing by Toby Chopra, Kirsten Donovan)

By Josh Ye