After so many months of facing regulation challenges, bigwig game publisher Tencent has pulled PUBG out of China. Instead, it’s now being replaced with a similar semi-tweaked version of the game dubbed Game for Peace (via Reuters).
Why do this? Because Tencent had to concede to government requirements to tone down the game due to its excessive violence, which is PG-rated at best. But that’s just the rest of the world so it doesn’t really matter to China’s worldview.
To provide a “healthy, positive cultural, and value guidance” experience for Chinese players, this Chinese version of PUBG celebrates the Chinese Air Force, takes out the gore, and has its dead players get up and wave goodbye instead of, well, staying on the ground dead (see timestamped video below via Gaming Mobile).
This version of PUBG has gained monetization approval in April, so Tencent will still get its billions pouring in despite the skin change; US$1.18 billion to US$1.48 billion annually according to China Renaissance analysts.
Apart from some minor socialist changes, Game for Peace is the same exact game as PUBG. And don’t worry about losing progress; this is just a graphical and aesthetical mod which means your old PUBG account in China will still retain the same level you’re at.
Of course, the initial shock when people thought PUBG was removed from Steam for good was enough to give many battle royale players a huge scare, as the Weibo topic “PUBG is gone” was the most-viewed story with 300 million clicks and 90,000 posts.