Tencent Holding Ltd officially shut down their test version of PlayerUnknown Battlegrounds in China and replaced it with a similar, patriotic shooter, which, unlike PUBG has regulatory approval to generate revenue from microtransactions.
After more than a year of waiting for approval from Chinese government to earn money on PUBG via in-app purchases in China, the Chinese gaming giant Tencent Holdings Ltd have officially shut down the test version of PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds.
In a post on the game's official account on Twitter-like platform Weibo, the company announced they will end the testing of PUBG and replace it with a more patriotic, anti-terrorism themed game named Game for Peace, which, unlike PUBG, has regulatory approval to generate revenue from microtransactions.
According to Reuters, Tencent describe Game for Peace as a tactical shooting game developed in-house which "pays tribute to the blue sky warriors that guard our country's airspace" which is a reference to the Chinese air force.
Apparently, the game is almost identical to PUBG - the gameplay, the background, the graphic design and characters look almost the same in Game for Peace.
However, Tencent told Reuters that PUBG and Game for Peace are two completely different games that are not even in the same genre. This is probably to distance the new game from PUBG and avoid any potential issues.
Analyst at China Renaissance say that PUBG Mobile have around 70 million average daily users in China now, and that Game for Peace could potentially generate from 8 billion to 10 billion yuan, which is around $1.18 billion to $1.48 billion in annual revenue.
While Tencent will certainly look to push aggressively with their new game, the decision to shut down PlayeUnknown's Battlegrounds is another defeat for the popular battle royale.
China is just another country that has issues with the game, previously, four cities in Gujarat, India due to its violent action and content and just a few weeks earlier, also banned the game, before reversing their decision.