As everyone in the gaming industry is talking about the glowing success of PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, the Chinese government has taken notice as well. Recently, the gaming branch office of China Audio And Video And Numeral Publishing Association released an official statement about the game. To summarize, the article condemned battle royale games as having too much blood and gore, and violent content.
The article even went on to compare this genre with the ancient Rome arena fights, where the singular aim of survival goes against the Republic of China’s moral principles, and negatively influences teenagers’ physical and mental health. As such, the gaming branch office sent out a warning that it will be hard to approve battle royale games to launch in China. It also recommends local companies not to develop or publish such games. At the same time, esports and livestream platforms should not promote such these games as well.
It is important to note that there have been rumors for weeks that Tencent, China’s biggest IT and gaming company, has been trying to negotiate a deal for the China server of PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds. Ironically, the gaming branch office’s committee has a Vice President from Tencent on board, with senior executives from major gaming companies including Perfect World and ChangYou making up the rest of the committee. There are at least 30 battle royale games being worked on in China, with China’s 2nd largest game developer NetEase preparing to launch a couple of them soon on mobile devices.
From what we know, there are already many China players in the current global server of PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, since there is a Chinese language option. Will the Chinese government take steps to clamp down connection to such games? Or will Tencent somehow use its position as an industry leader to persuade the government to allow a tone-down version? As comparison, do note that the Korean government rated PlayersUnknown’s Battlegrounds as a game suitable for all aged 15 and above. Stay tuned for updates!