'PUBG' Dodges Government Regulations in China by Making Killing Nicer

Much to the dismay of Chinese gamers, Tencent pulled mobile battle royale game PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds from app stores in China today—but it’s been replaced with a less violent, patriotic alternative.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/evyvxa/pubg-dodges-government-regulations-in-china-by-making-killing-nicer
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Game for Peace and PUBG MOBILE are two different, separate games,” a PUBG Corp spokesperson told VICE.

“In essence the games are the same,” Daniel Ahmad, a video game industry analyst at Niko Partners, told VICE.

Let nobody say that you can’t make a point clear without necessarily putting your own opinion in there!

Great article covering one of the most significant mobile markets that can be easily overlooked in an Anglophone media landscape or covered in a very poor fashion.


“In one you have shooting and killing and blood and in the other, it’s just paintball with red paint and elaborate reactive squib rigs. Totally different…visually indistinguishable, of course.”

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The footage on YouTube you can find is like a bizarro universe version of PUBG. It’s essentially identical, except shooting other players results in little blue flashes, there’s no blood, they do their little exit from the game when you down them, and there are also a bunch of Chinese air force billboards everywhere.

I just love how “dead” characters get up and wave, it’s so wonderfully pleasant :heart: :blush:. Reminds me of those early days in Overwatch when it seemed different from the typical hardcore meathead K/D ratio shooter (which I guess it has become now).

I say redo the whole game even further so it’s all hide and seek and instead of shooting opponents, you beat them with hugs. Not even remotely sarcastic either.


“Blue Sky warriors” is some incredible propaganda doublespeak and I wish I had been in whatever meeting came up with it.

I always find censored violence to be creepier than actually showing it. Shoot a guy in the head and he dies vs. shoot a guy in the head and he gives you a present then waves goodbye before vanishing.

Not a fan of the message the latter gives.


Yeah, whenever someone tries to take something inherently violent and remove only parts of the overall whole, it makes it way, way worse.

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I get why so many articles are focusing on the way the game handles violence, because it is seriously weird, but it seems like the politics are a much bigger and more unsettling deal. If the reason PUBG wasn’t getting approved was the violence then why wasn’t that the only thing that changed? Adding in some light propaganda makes it look like someone either at Tencent or in the government thought it would help the process go more smoothly which raises some questions about what the cost of doing business in China is for the industry. That an apolitical game is denied but a game that “positions itself as a military training exercise game (in collaboration with the People’s Liberation Army Air Force)” is approved is a pretty bold precedent to set.