Tencent has decided to close the mobile version of PlayerUnknown’s Battleground in China. The founder of the genus of the Battle Royale will therefore no longer be distributed in Chinese territory, mainly due to some licensing problems.
The company has in fact decided to turn towards a similar title more “patriotic” as Heping Jingying according to what reported by Reuters and the Financial Times. It is a title whose monetization has already been approved by the Chinese government, and which at home is seen as a tribute to the China Air Force and which presents anti-terrorist issues.
PUBG had arrived in China last March and had become one of the most popular titles ever, with over 70 million players and earnings of around $1.48 billion. However, some political and cultural factors have necessitated Tencent’s intervention. The government is in fact particularly opposed to games considered violent or that can generate dependence, and it is not the first time that such a game has been withdrawn from the market. India has imposed a daily limit on the use of PUBG, for example. Heping Jingying is instead seen more favorably both for the reasons mentioned above, and because it is less violent than PUBG.
There would also be another problem, not a small one. Tencent has obtained the license for PUBG from the South Korean company Bluehole. The Chinese authorities since 2017 are rather hostile towards South Korean products after the country has given the go-ahead to the installation of some American missile defense systems.
For the Chinese players, it won’t change much: Tencent has said it is willing to migrate the characters and progress from PUBG to Heping Jingying since they are very similar games. The fact remains that such a decision is bound to make noise.