Tencent swaps blockbuster PUBG for Game for Peace in China

Tencent swaps blockbuster PUBG for Game for Peace in China

PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds is available now on PS4, PC, Xbox One and mobile devices.

Tencent has suspended its China operations of the mobile game "PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds", saying the game's
"testing" phase was over, implying it did not receive official approval.

Developed by South Korean game maker Bluehole, PUBG is among the world's best-selling games, with over 400 million players worldwide.

Global game distributor Steam named PUBG one of its highest-grossing titles of 2018. Some of PUBG's elements go against guidelines set by the Chinese government, among them blood and gore, and lack of representation of socialist principles.

But the company failed to get the necessary approval to offer in-app purchases and could not make money from the game.

In a freakish twist however, Tencent has replaced PUBG with an all-new patriotic title, Game for Peace, which the publisher states "pays tribute to the blue sky warriors that guard our country's airspace", referencing China's air force. Around 70 million people reportedly played PUBG Mobile in China every day.

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This effectively means PUBG's quest to invade China - officially at least - is nearing its end.

Tencent chose to shut down the mobile version of the battle royale game, commonly known as PUBG Mobile, because the Chinese government refused to allow in-app purchases, Reuters reported on Wednesday.

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.

Tencent has been rattled by a Chinese government crackdown on gaming launched a year ago that has choked off game approvals. "The gameplay, the background, the graphic design, and the characters, they're nearly the same", she said.

A spokeswoman for Krafton said the firm was looking into PUBG's status in China and declined to comment further. Now, instead of dying, characters fall down briefly, then get back up and wave goodbye.

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