Tencent has withdrawn PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds in China, giving up on its long wait for government approval, and is migrating its player base to new “Game for Peace”.
As announced on its website, the Chinese publisher of PUBG has ended the “testing phase” of the game, which it was in while waiting for the Chinese government to approve its inclusion of in-app purchases. When Tencent acquired the Chinese publishing rights for PUBG in November 2017, it promised to make changes to the game in order to rectify its deviation from “Socialist core values”, but that has proven too difficult, and official approval was never forthcoming.
Instead, Tencent has replaced PUBG, on both PC and mobile, with a self-developed game entitled Game for Peace. According to Reuters, Tencent says it “Pays tribute to the blue sky warriors that guard our country’s airspace,” in reference to the Chinese Air Force.
Even though Tencent told Reuters that: “They are very different genres of games,” Chinese gamers have remarked on the similarity between PUBG and Game for Peace, noting that when they have downloaded it, they have been returned to the same position they were in when playing PUBG. They have also noted that it is completely gore-free, and that: “When you shoot people, they don’t bleed, and the dead get up and wave goodbye.”