Published: Thu, May 09, 2019
Tech | By Constance Martin

Tencent shuts down PUBG Mobile in China following approval struggles

Tencent shuts down PUBG Mobile in China following approval struggles

The battle royale-style shooter earned its publishers $920 million previous year, but returns haven't been good for Tencent, which licensed a mobile version of the game for China in November 2017. It also said it had launched an anti-terrorism-themed "Game for Peace", for which it gained monetization approval in April.

The company is now placing its bets on Game for Peace, a different game that it did manage to get approvals for.

PUBG Mobile had an average of 70 million daily active users in China, and most of those players are expected to transfer to Game for Peace.

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.

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Though unconfirmed, it's possible that approval problems for the PUBG Mobile games could stem from a block of South Korean game releases in China, which is where PUBG Corp is based. "The gameplay, the background, the graphic design, and the characters, they're nearly the same", she said. PBUG users can pull their profiles and in-app purchases to the new game as they switch to "Game for Peace".

"But I didn't expect that once I updated it to Game of Peace it returned me back to the same level". It was named as one of the highest-grossing titles on the Steam video game store in 2018. "The game changed its name and became very socialist to gain approval".

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

"I'm going to die of laughter", said another Weibo user. One big difference is a complete lack of gore, with one player commenting on Weibo that, "When you shoot people, they don't bleed, and the dead get up and wave goodbye!"

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