Published: Thu, May 09, 2019
Tech | By Anita Cain

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

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

Some formerly avid "PUBG" players on Chinese social media said that when they booted up the new Communist Party-approved game, they found themselves at a similar level to where they left off in the now defunct program.

It's clear why Tencent chose to make this move, as PUBG mobile was immensely popular in China.

AFP was not immediately able to reach Tencent for comment.

The Chinese video gaming leader said in November 2017 it would bring the gory game to China, and gave it a socialist makeover to meet stringent government rules when it informally launched the title the following February. Instead, players now have the option to transfer their accounts to the new title, which Tencent says "pays tribute to the blue sky warriors that guard our country's airspace".

On the same day PUBG was pulled out, Tencent rolled out a similar game for which it received monetization approval.

Some users are reporting on Weibo that the progress they made in PUBG carried over to Game for Peace.

The hashtag "PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds is gone" was trending on Chinese online platform Weibo, amassing 510 million views and 127,000 posts as of Wednesday afternoon.

"The game-play, the background, the graphic design and the characters, they're nearly the same".

Tencent has been rattled by a Chinese government crackdown on gaming launched previous year that has choked off game approvals. The game had around 70 million daily active users in China alone, and those were all people who weren't spending money on it.

But official concerns over gaming addiction prompted the government a year ago to impose new controls such as limiting the number of new releases, and safeguards that reduce playing time for underage gamers.

The move allows Tencent to monetize the game, an approval through the regulatory agency that was approved in April.

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