PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds has been a stellar success for developer Blue Hole but one of the largest gaming markets could be shut out.
According to Bloomberg, the battle royale title, which has been the top-selling PC game on Steam since early this year, is unlikely to get a license in China. The State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television (SAPPRFT) has deemed the game goes against Chinese socialist ideology and “deviates from the values of socialism and is deemed harmful to young consumers”.
This news comes after the recent 19th national congress of the Communist party of China where President Xi Ping called for China to “strive for the great success of socialism with Chinese characteristics for a new era”.
Benjamin Wu, an analyst at Shanghai-based consultancy Pacific Epoch said, “This basically spells the death sentence for PUBG in China. PUBG’s main problem is that the underlying ideology clashes with what’s preached in China.”
This is not great news for BlueHole who would have hoped to extend their already huge PUBG audience. China’s largest gaming company Tencent was already talking to Blue Hole about a license deal.
Chinese players will have to continue to try and play the game through a VPN for now.