Inside Game for Peace, China’s New State-Approved PUBG Clone

The wildly popular mobile game PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds has been replaced in China with a more government-friendly substitute.

A promotional image for Tencent’s new PUBG-like mobile title, Game for Peace. From the game’s website

This week, one of the most popular mobile games in China was taken offline in the country in favor of a less violent, more patriotic alternative — provoking an outcry from heartbroken netizens.

PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, the battle royale-style mobile shooter also known as PUBG, has long been among the best-loved games on the mainland. On Wednesday, however, the two versions of PUBG available domestically were taken down and replaced by a new title: Game for Peace. The substitute features near-identical gameplay with a fresh patriotic veneer and, true to its name, reduced violence.

Though an in-game notice indicated that “maintenance” was the reason for the closure, PUBG had been unable to gain official licensure from the country’s media regulators, thereby preventing its domestic developer, Tencent, from monetizing the title.

Game for Peace, meanwhile, has replicated its forerunner’s structure while keeping in line with the priorities of national authorities, who have previously restricted violent or otherwise verboten content in games. With rampant nearsightedness reported among students, the government has also issued guidelines recommending that young people spend less time gaming in order to improve their vision. Amid such oversight, Tencent has vowed to develop offerings with “positive energy” and help curb gaming addiction among minors.

A GIF shows some screenshots from the battle arena game “Game for Peace.”

The company has made obvious efforts on both these fronts with Game for Peace. In a statement sent to Sixth Tone, Tencent said that the game had been created with “guidance from the air force recruitment center” in China and “pays tribute to the blue-sky warriors who guard the national airspace,” referring to members of the People’s Liberation Army Air Force. Continue to read the full article here.


– This article originally appeared on Sixth Tone.