PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds Facing Possible Ban In China

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PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds
PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds Bluehole

PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds has been astronomically successful in China during the latter half of 2017. Millions of Chinese gamers have already joined the PUBG community and peak game time in China tends to push the game to some of its highest concurrent user counts. But a new Bloomberg report suggests that success could be coming to an abrupt end.

A major Chinese gaming organization has spoken out against PUBG , claiming Bluehole and PUBG Corporation’s battle royale shooter is at odds with the values promoted by President Xi Jinping and the ruling Communist Party. On its own, the statement wouldn’t be much more than a group like the Focus On The Family criticizing a new product; however, Bloomberg says the organization “consulted with” the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television. And that’s a much bigger deal. One analyst told Bloomberg that the statement is tantamount to a “death sentence” for PUBG in China.

“But Chinese gamers are already playing PUBG, how does this change anything,” you might say to yourself. And that’s where things get a bit tricky.

PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds isn’t technically available for purchase in China yet. Millions of gamers have used VPNS to secure a copy, and connect to the game’s servers, but there isn’t an official Chinese localization of PUBG yet. And now there might not ever be, a revelation which almost certainly throws a wrench in Tencent’s alleged interest in investing in Bluehole (or maybe even buying the studio outright). But Bloomberg also notes a potential upside for Tencent: as the owner of Riot Games, the company may soon have one less competitor in its largest market.

For more on the rough road PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds is facing in China, check out the full Bloomberg report on the situation. And for more on the game, check out all the coverage that stems from our recent conversations with PUBG Creative Director Brendan Greene and PUBG Corp. CEO Chang Han Kim.

PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds is available in Early Access. The launch build is expected to hit Steam before the end of 2017. A Xbox One port is currently slated for early 2018.

Be sure to check back with Player.One and follow Scott on Twitter for more PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds news in 2017 and as long as PUBG Corp. supports PUBG in the years ahead.

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