PUBG, Fortnite and More Reportedly Banned in China, with Some Developers Responding

According to a post on Chinese gaming forum NGA, a Chinese ethics board has ordered games like PUBG and Fortnite to be taken off the market.

A Reddit post recently relayed possible information from Chinese gaming forum NGA. According to the translation from Reddit user /u/ZeroWolfe547, China’s Online Gaming Ethics Review Committee looked over 20 popular online games for potential “ethic risks,” reportedly banning 9 of them, including PUBG, Fortnite, and Paladins. The Chinese gaming community may have another crackdown on its hands.

Other games reportedly ordered to be removed from the market or prohibited from sale include H1Z1, Alliance of Valiant Arms, and Ring of Elysium. Publishers for the other 11 games were reportedly told to take “corrective action,” with that list including League of Legends, Overwatch, Diablo, and World of Warcraft.

Assuming these translations are accurate, the reasons given are, well, interesting. Many of these titles are cited to have “inharmonious chatrooms,” which I doubt many would disagree with.  Citations also include “rewards given based on rank,” “distorted concepts of history and culture,” “overly revealing female characters,” “blood and gore,” and “vulgar content.” The latter two citations were applied to Fortnite, a game that isn’t particularly known for its “blood and gore.”

As the Reddit post explains, if such a ban is taking place, it is unknown whether it is being enforced by regulators, or how regulators would go about doing that—the post relays claims that PUBG and Fortnite are still playable in the country. The post was also updated to share that Blizzard initially denied the reports through Chinese social media platform Weibo, but that post was later deleted.

Another official word has come from Paladins publisher Hi-Rez Studios, who gave a statement to PCGamesN.

“Tencent manages Paladins in China, including full operation of the game and all interface with the government in regards to the game. At this time Hi-Rez can neither confirm nor deny reports regarding a government ban, and can offer no insights on corrective action.”

It isn’t the most helpful indicator, but it does tell that these developers are aware of the reports. We’ll be sure to update this story as more official information comes to light.

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Chris Compendio

Chris is a writer currently based in the Philadelphia area. They are currently writing for film website Flixist, podcasting for Marvel News Desk, and were an editorial intern for Paste Magazine's gaming section. They graduated from Carnegie Mellon University with a creative writing major.

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