After months of uncertainty for Tencent and popular battle royale game PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, the game publisher has finally announced a change. Tencent has been trying to monetize PUBG Mobile in China for some time, but China’s new rules on video games have made the process difficult. As such, Tencent has gone a new, surprising direction: replacing PUBG in its homeland with a reskinned alternative. This new title is government friendly and reskins the war-like theme. Named Game for Peace, it comes with the same mechanics and playstyle as PUBG.
In the post made by the game’s official account on China’s Weibo platform, Tencent revealed that Game for Peace game had monetization approval. Before the change, the game had been restricted from adding in-app purchases, but now it’s free to do so. Among the requirements by China’s State Administration of Press and Publication, things like corpses, blood, and gambling are banned.
Game for Peace — or 和平精英, directly translated as “Elite Force for Peace” — is developed by Krafton. It features the same game controls, achievements, game modes, and maps as PUBG. Meanwhile, its differences include brighter building colors, the lack of dead player bodies, no bleeding, a patriotic message in Chinese at the beginning of games, green lasers instead of bullets, and much more. These changes can all be described as only cosmetic, however.
Reuters reported that one Weibo user commented, “When you shoot people, they don’t bleed, and the dead get up and wave goodbye!”
Just last month, PUBG Corp. announced their 2018 operating revenues totaled $920M USD or ₩1.05T KRW. The Asian market accounted for 64% of PUBG’s revenue in 2018 as well. Their game on the PC totaled the most of their revenue stream, while mobile revenues were low. This was most likely because their mobile app was only available to be monetized in certain countries.
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