According to a recent leak, popular battle royale game PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds has been taken off of China’s top streaming services.
According to a recent leak, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds was removed from China’s top streaming services. The report is the most recent development in the gradual reduction of gaming in China, particularly for younger generations. In the past month, the government reduced gaming for Chinese minors to only three hours a week, creating difficulties for gaming industry companies (and other related parties) within the country’s borders.
China’s relationship with the video games and its subsequent culture has been strained in recent years, and some games have responded by either tweaking their content to bypass the government’s censorship laws. Other titles have been banned entirely. Following its release in 2013, popular first-person shooter Battlefield 4 was banned because of its depiction of China. PUBG and Fortnite were also banned in China in 2019, after violating new online ethical rules at the time.
A new leak from PlayerIGN (via TheGamer), a source known for publicizing PUBG-related leaks, reports that PUBG esports could have ended in China. The game was reportedly removed entirely from Chinese streaming platforms Huya, DouYu, and egame.qq, though it does not indicate that the Chinese Community Party censored the game on the aforementioned platforms. Instead, it is possible the removal could be self-censorship caused by pressure from the government, likely due to China’s recent crackdowns on gaming and game companies. The decision to remove the game from top streaming platforms, however, will likely impact streamers and content creators who play and stream PUBG both competitively and recreationally.
UPDATE & LEAK:
PUBG esports may be over in China via sources
The game’s closed off on Tencent’s egame.qq
DouYu censorship. Huya is silent.
Today’s changes is said to come from self-censorship, not the government. Following a Tencent meeting with regulators early this month.
— PlayerIGN (@PlayerIGN) September 27, 2021
China cites gaming addiction as the justification behind its recent rules and regulations around video games. Seemingly in response to these limitations, game company and tech conglomerate Tencent has also debuted new facial recognition technology that prevents minors from gaming too much. They have also banned those under 16 years old from streaming (or being streamed). While this does not prohibit anyone over 18 years of age from playing games or streaming, the removal of PUBG will impact its players in China regardless.
The removal of PUBG will likely impact the game’s popularity throughout China, and perhaps other East Asian countries with users who add to its streaming services’ viewership. Additionally, streaming is an excellent way for developers to gain more exposure – cutting that off could limit outreach. Video game popularity increased in China when COVID-19 pandemic began, which caused PUBG‘s player activity to double in size – but these new measures might see that growth squandered. There is no confirmation yet on why PUBG has been removed, but hopefully some more news will surface soon.
PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds is available on PC, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and Stadia.
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