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PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds could face ban in China

Game deviates from values of socialism, according to China's content watchdog

Efforts to bring PlayerUnknown Battlegrounds to China have stalled and the game could even face a ban in the region.

According to a Bloomberg report, a recent announcement from China's Audio-Video and Digital Publishing Association found that "the gladiator-like mentality of the computer game deviates from the values of socialism and is deemed harmful to young consumers."

The unstoppable juggernaut that is PUBG has sold over 15 million units since launching into Early Access in March, and enjoys the largest concurrent player count on Steam by a considerable margin.

It now seems very unlikely that PUBG will be able to tap into the hugely lucrative Chinese video game market, which is currently the largest in the world at $27.5 billion according to data from Newzoo.

Publishing Western games in China is notoriously difficult, especially violent ones, though it is not unheard of. In September, Valve was able to strike a deal with native publisher Perfect World to bring CounterStrike: Global Offensive to the region.

PUBG publisher Bluehole confirmed last month that it was in talks with Chinese internet giant Tencent. Bluehole chairman and co-founder Chang Byung-gyu said that discussions had been promising, and that Tencent would be a very important partner.

However, battle royal games are particularly contentious in the eyes of China's content watchdog. According to Bloomberg, the association "recommended that Chinese companies do not develop such games and discouraged live streaming of related content."

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Ivy Taylor

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Ivy joined GamesIndustry.biz in 2017 having previously worked as a regional journalist, and a political campaigns manager before that. They are also one of the UK's foremost Sonic the Hedgehog apologists.

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