PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds ( PubG) has been deleted from China’s biggest streaming sites, according to a recent leak.
The research represents the latest recent step in China’s progressive shift away from gaming, particularly among younger generations.
The government recently curtailed gaming for Chinese minors to three hours per week, posing challenges for gaming companies (and other associated parties) operating within the country’s borders.
In recent years, China’s relationship with video games and its culture has been strained, and some games have responded by altering their material to avoid the government’s censorship restrictions.
Other titles have been outright prohibited. The popular first-person shooter Battlefield 4 was banned after its release in 2013 due to its depiction of China.
In China, PUBG and Fortnite were both banned in 2019 after they were found to have violated new internet ethics guidelines at the time.
According to a fresh leak from PlayerIGN (via TheGamer), a source notorious for promoting PUBG-related leaks, PUBG esports in China may have come to an end.
The game was supposedly taken totally from Huya, DouYu, and egame.qq in China, while there is no indication that the Chinese Community Party blocked the game on those platforms.
Instead, it’s probable that the removal was motivated by government pressure, most likely as a result of China’s recent crackdowns on gaming and game firms.
The decision to ban the game from popular streaming platforms, on the other hand, is likely to have an impact on broadcasters and content creators that compete in and stream PUBG.
Gaming addiction is used by China as a reason for its current video game rules and regulations.
Tencent, a game firm and tech behemoth, has reportedly revealed new facial recognition technology to restrict minors from gaming excessively, ostensibly in response to these constraints.
They’ve also made it illegal for anyone under the age of 16 to stream (or being streamed). While this does not prevent anyone over the age of 18 from playing or streaming games, the removal of PUBG will have an impact on its Chinese players.
The removal of PUBG will almost certainly have an influence on the game’s popularity in China, as well as maybe other East Asian nations with users who contribute to the game’s streaming services’ viewing.
Streaming is also a great way for developers to get additional exposure, so switching it off could limit their reach. When the COVID-19 outbreak hit China, video game popularity skyrocketed, causing PUBG’s player activity to double – but these new measures might see that progress squandered.
There is currently no clarification as to why PUBG was banned, but maybe more information will become available shortly.