China replaces PUBG with patriotic game

Tencent Suspends Blockbuster Video Game 'PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds' in China

Tencent Suspends Blockbuster Video Game 'PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds' in China

Tencent has shuttered the closed beta for PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds Mobile in China, though the news isn't all gloom and doom.

People attend the PUBG Global Invitational 2018, the first official esports tournament for the computer game PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds in Berlin, Germany, July 26, 2018. Players who have been transferred to the game even insist they've been started from a similar level to where they left off in PUBG. On Wednesday, "PUBG is gone" was the one of most viewed topics on Weibo, with over 300 million clicks and close to 90,000 posts.

Wednesday morning, gamers who tried to open PUBG's app were greeted with a message saying the service was down for maintenance. However, the multiplayer title which is owned by China's Tencent is being replaced by something extremely similar called Game For Peace. In response, the replacement, Game for Peace, has been given a socialist makeover to meet the strict government regulations. However, Reuters reports that Weibo users have described the game as being similar to PUBG in nearly every way, except for the blood and gore.

IHS Markit game analyst Cui Chenyu told Reuters that the title is "almost exactly the same" as PUBG, though it's said to lack more gory elements in line with government regulations.

Game approvals in China suffered a nine-month hiatus past year after an administrative reshuffle in March created a major backlog plus a breakdown in command.

PUBG has been unable to bring in any revenue in China because it wasn't approved by the State Administration of Press and Publication (SAPP). Despite its violent gameplay, Game for Peace somehow passed that criteria.

Tencent and Bluehole, the game's developer, didn't immediately respond to requests for comment. Game for Peace is a tactical shooter developed in China that pays tribute to the Chinese military.

When it comes to games, regulators aren't playing around.