In recent years, China has been more lenient about the kind of entertainment it allows its citizens to consume. Even so, the country’s strict guidelines have made it somewhat difficult for Bluehole to release the smash hit PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds in the country. Bluehole has now teamed with Tencent, the largest Chinese gaming publisher, to release PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds in China with modifications to better fit “socialist core values.”
Tencent’s modifcations come after China’s content regulator criticized the game for its violent content. To appease the Chinese government, Tencent will focus on how PUBG can promote “the spirit of teamwork” and “fair competition.” It will also focus on providing “positive cultural and value guidance,” particularly for any Chinese youth that play the game. How exactly this will be accomplished is unclear at the time of this writing, however.
While some purists may decry the decision to essentially censor PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds in order for the game to release in China, it ultimately seems like a smart move on the part of the developers and Tencent. After all, PUBG has been a runaway hit, selling over 15 million units and nominated for Game of the Year at this year’s The Game Awards event. Once it officially releases in China, its sales numbers should climb even higher.
Even so, some fans may respond negatively to this kind of censorship, even if it won’t impact the version of the game that they play. Chinese players especially may be upset about the version of the game that releases in their country, and may respond by review bombing its Steam page. After all, Chinese players managed to tip PUBG‘s rating from “mostly positive” to “overwhelmingly negative” once the game started advertising VPN services instead of using its own servers in the country.
So while some fans may be disappointed at this potential censorship for PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, others may be happy that the game should finally have dedicated Chinese servers once publisher Tencent gets involved. Ultimately, we’ll have to wait and see how this plays out once PUBG has its official launch in the region.
PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds is available now in early access on PC, and will be available on Xbox One in early access on December 12th.