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PUBG and Fortnite just got banned by the Chinese government

Author: Moin Imran
12-Dec-2018

Category: News

Violating a country's social and ethical rules could get your game banned too. Out of 20 popular online games submitted for review to the Online Ethics Review Committee established by the Chinese government, 11 were instructed to corrective action to address the committee concerns. 9 of those 11 games failed and are now banned in the country.

Fortnite, PUBG, and many other BR games just got banned by the Chinese government
Updated information: it is not clear if there were any actions enforced by regulators. All the affected companies remain silent (we have contacted them as well) and there is a rumor that Blizzard has denied it officially on China's social site Weibo but the post was deleted afterward. Also, some players report that PUBG and Fortnite are still playable. We should know more in the coming hours and days. That's for sure.

According to a Reddit Thread documenting the review process of this committee. The games on the list are League of legends, Fortnite, PUBG, Overwatch along with many popular titles produced by companies like Tencent and NetEase. Riot's games "overly revealing female characters" and “inharmonious chatroom”, Blizzard’s “game visuals [that] promote incorrect values,” and Diablo’s missions that “include fraud.” are one of the many features that require “corrective action” according to this committee.

Fortnite, PUBG, and many other BR games just got banned by the Chinese government
Meanwhile, games like PUBG, H1Z1, Fortnite got banned for featuring "Blood and Gore". Paladins got itself in the mess too for featuring “overly revealing female characters, blood and gore, and vulgar content.” The only studio that got hurt the most from this is Tencent which got featured six times in the list where Blizzard and NetEase appear three to four times.

And what is Publicity Department of the Communist Party of China behind this whole action? According to Wikipedia:

The Publicity Department of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, or CCPPD, is an internal division of the Communist Party of China in charge of ideology-related work, as well as its information dissemination system. It is not formally considered to be part of the Government of the People's Republic of China, but enforces media censorship and control in the People's Republic of China.

It was founded in May 1924, and was suspended during the Cultural Revolution, until it was restored in October 1977. It is an important organ in China's propaganda system, and its inner operations are highly secretive. Its current head is Liu Qibao.
The official aim of the government of this Web censorship are pornography, online gambling and other harmful sites to society. But we know that China can use it as a cover for more severe actions versus other companies.

If you are interested in more stats, figures, frozen games because they must be first approved by the government and other interesting facts about IP protection in the gaming industry, you should read China Briefing article.

However, it is still unclear as this panel responsible for approving or banning games announced on Friday is operating under the auspices of the new body, though that has not been publicly confirmed. Based on the Telegraph's information. What is even more interesting or frightening, the regulation has already cost Tencent (Chinese giant worth these days more than Facebook) over $100 billion. Company offering through its game portal for example Call of Duty, Dungeon Fighter Online, Three Kingdoms or bought companies behind Clash of Clans (Supercell) and League of Legends (Riot Games).

There is just one question remaining. Where does it end? Let's wait and see...



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