Tencent and China wave goodbye to watching the enemy die!
Game developers Tencent officially shut down PUBG Mobile in China after years of discourse. Gone are the days of reveling in triumphant glory as the victim of your gaming prowess vanishes into a puff of blood and smoke.
These changes are in accordance with the growing strictness imposed by the Chinese Government on games deemed to be violent or supporting a negative view of China. You may remember in July 2017 Forbes reported that the Chinese Government openly criticized Tencent. As a result, Chinese media labeled Tencent’s massively successful mobile game Smash of Kings as “poison”. This was due to reports that children were engaging in illegal activities in order to get money for in-game purchases,
Nearly two years later and Tencent is still wrestling with the political pressure on their content.
However, fans of the game in China need not fret. Tencent has replaced PUBG Mobile with a counter-terrorism themed shooter, entitled “Game for Peace”. It is almost identical to PUBG Mobile except for the removal of gore and praise for the Chinese Air Force. Upon dying players now instead will fall to one knee, wave peacefully goodbye and gently disappear.
A plethora of different opinions has surfaced since the change. Some are criticizing the game designers for acquiescing to Chinese censorship. Platforms like SMG Studio are more receptive to the update, tweeting that the function “Should be a toggle in every game!!”.
Whether or not this will have a lasting consequence remains to be decided. It may effect how all video games developers construct their gameplay or set a precedent of launching a marginally different game in various countries so to comply with regulations. What it certainly means is that particular governments are aware of the potentially negative implications of violent video games and are beginning to actively work for change.
How do you feel about the changes made by Tencent in China? Should this feature become more universally implemented in future projects? Let us know what you think!