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Thursday, February 9, 2023

Tencent to shut down PubG Mobile in China for a more “patriotic” alternative

Tencent the owner and maker of every so popular mobile battle royale game PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds: Mobile failed to secure a license from the Chinese government to collect revenues (i.e. monetize through microtransactions) from the game. Due to this Tencent has decided to shut-down the game PUBGM in China and replace it with a new game called Elite Force for Peace.

Tencent will allow users of PUBG:M to migrate their characters to the new game. The game Elite Force for Peace has already received approval from the Chinese government to be monetized.

Some reports suggested that the new game is incredibly similar to PUBG:M, but with censorship towards the “violent” parts. In Elite Force for Peace, players won’t bleed blood and die, rather a green smoke will come off from the character while doing a surrendering pose ( down on knees and hands in air) and offer all the loot in a bag. Elite Force for Peace is an overly patriotic game with some describing it as “patriotism overturned”. The game will be age restricted to players above 16.

This comes amid the tension and competition from every company trying to grab a percent of market share in China. As China is home to biggest gaming market, every company is looking to enter even if they have to compromise on many of the game elements to gain license from Chinese government.

Over the past few months the Chinese government have put forward many rules and regulations to censor games while also limiting many studios from outright releasing games. The government has become particularly hostile to video games that are perceived as violent or addictive by local media and actively try to censor them.

Although Tencent was fast to react to this, but many other studios might not be so lucky and may have to either remove their games or bow down to Chinese regulations and heavily censor them.

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