Tencent shut down its test version of PUBG in China and replaced it with a more patriotic game.
Tencent Holdings Ltd. pulled the PUBG mobile video game on Wednesday, announcing the end of the testing for the game. The company said it had launched an anti-terrorism-themed game called “Game for Peace,” instead.
Unlike PUBG, Tencent managed to gain monetization approval for Game for Peace.
Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds, or PUBG for short, is an extremely popular battle royale shooter game. When it was first introduced on mobile to the Chinese market by Tencent, the company had hoped to secure a license to monetize the title, but eventually gave up on this goal, especially after new video game laws were put into place in the country.
Back in April, China’s State Administration of Press and Publication released a series of demands for new titles. Among these included bans on blood and corpses in games as well as references of gambling and imperial history. This automatically presented a losing battle for PUBG, which certainly isn’t lacking in the blood and corpses department.
However, Tencent managed to obtain monetization approval in April for its Game for Peace title, which it believes has the potential to rake in some serious revenue.
“With PUBG Mobile having around 70 million average daily active users in China now, we expect Game for Peace could potentially generate 8 billion yuan to 10 billion yuan ($1.18 billion to $1.48 billion) in annual revenue”, said analysts at China Renaissance, Reuters reports.
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Players of the new game have all but called it a copycat of PUBG mobile.
Tencent has described Game for Peace as a tactical shooting game that “pays tribute to the blue sky warriors that guard our country’s airspace.” In other words, the company claims that the game was inspired by the Chinese air force.
That being said, so far, many user reviews for Game for Peace have revealed that the mobile game is extremely similar to PUBG, including having similar game play, background, graphic design and characters.
Some Weibo users even commented that when they started Game for Peace, they were at a place in the game that strongly resembled the place where they previously were in Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds, complete with the gaming history.
One Weibo users said: I didn’t expect that once I updated it to Game for Peace it returned me back to the same level. The game changed its name and became very socialist to gain approval.”
Meanwhile another user said: “I’m going to die of laughter. When you shoot people, they don’t bleed, and the dead get up and wave goodbye!”
That being said, in spite of the similarities that players are reporting between Game for Peace and PUBG Mobile, Tencent reportedly told Reuters that the two games are very different from one another.