PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds is undoubtedly the hottest game in the world right now, selling millions and smashing Steam records all over. So it was only a matter of time until it came under closer scrutiny by those outside of gaming.
That’s exactly what is happening in China right now. One of the games biggest markets might be about to drop a bombshell on the game. According to a report from Bloomberg, the game could be banned.
The China Audio-Video and Digital Publishing Association have said that the game is too violent and bloody for China as the ‘last man standing’ gameplay setup goes against the values of socialism and is potentially harmful to players. Comments on games are made all the time but this one could be a bit more serious, given that the association consulted with SAPPRFT (State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television) before issuing the statement.
SAPPRFT have banned many things in the past, being the licence regulator in Japan. Notable banned entertainment includes The Big Bang Theory and Bojack Horseman. PUBG would not be the only banned game, with Tencent’s Honour of Kings receiving enforced caps for what China considered to be gameplay that was addictive and harmful to minors.
"This basically spells the death sentence for PUBG in China,” Benjamin Wu, an analyst at Shanghai-based consultancy Pacific Epoch, told Bloomberg “PUBG’s main problem is that the underlying ideology clashes with what’s preached in China.”
So could the game be banned? Time will tell but it’s not unknown for the country to ban video games. The Xbox One and PS4 were only recently allowed to go on sale in the country within the past five years, and both Grand Theft Auto and Football Manager have been previously banned. So it is definitely possible.