PUBG Mobile, the smartphone version of the hit battle royale game PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, has been shut down in China by its publisher Tencent. It was unable to gain approval from the Chinese government to monetize the game in that country.
As reported by Reuters, Tencent is actually replacing PUBG Mobile in China with a government-approved tactical shooter title called Game for Peace. In a post on Tencent’s website, the company said the new game “pays tribute to the blue sky warriors that guard our country’s airspace.” This more patriotic-themed game is apparently less gory than PUBG Mobile, according to comments made by players on Weibo. In fact, according to a post on Reddit, once you “kill” a player in the game, they actually wave back at you. Other than the lack of blood and gore, Game for Peace looks and plays almost exactly like PUBG Mobile, according to its players.
One other interesting thing PUBG Mobile players in China are reporting is that their progression history has carried over to the new Game for Peace title. That means they won’t have to start over with this new game, which means Tencent isn’t likely to lose too many of PUBG Mobile’s players. Analysts at China Renaissance told Reuters that PUBG Mobile had 70 million daily active players in China before its shutdown.
China’s government imposed new rules on mobile games in April. TechCrunch reported that in addition to the lack of blood and gore, the government’s new laws will limit approval of games that reference China’s imperial history. Mahjong and poker games are also banned, and the number of overall games that are approved by the government will be capped.