Published: Wed, May 08, 2019
Markets | By Otis Pena

PUBG Mobile Pulled by Tencent From China as Regulatory Approval Proves Elusive

PUBG Mobile Pulled by Tencent From China as Regulatory Approval Proves Elusive

The move allows Tencent to monetize the game, an approval through the regulatory agency that was approved in April. PBUG users can pull their profiles and in-app purchases to the new game as they switch to "Game for Peace". As you'd expect, Game for Peace quickly gained approval for monetization in China.

According to Data consultancy Questmobile, PUBG had 186 million monthly active users (MAU) in China in February. Tencent, which makes two thirds of its revenue from gaming, watched its shares plummet over 30% during the freeze, shedding $180 billion in market value.

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In a freakish twist however, Tencent has replaced PUBG with an all-new patriotic title, Game for Peace, which the publisher states "pays tribute to the blue sky warriors that guard our country's airspace", referencing China's air force. The game is such a complete substitute for Tencent's now-defunct PUBG that, reportedly, the Game for Peace icon automatically replaces PUBG's when downloaded.

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Game approvals in China suffered a nine-month hiatus previous year after an administrative reshuffle in March created a major backlog plus a breakdown in command. However, analyst Cui Chenyu said Game for Peace is otherwise "almost exactly the same" as PUBG. "The game play, the background, the graphic design and the characters, they're nearly the same".

In its place, Tencent has apparently launched a patriotic military-themed game called Game for Peace, which looks and plays similar to PUBG.

Others commented on the absence of gore, which regulators have all but outlawed in new titles following a public outcry over perceived excess in video games.

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