Tencent has shutdown hugely popular mobile version of PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds in China after failing to secure a license from the government to collect revenues from the game.
Instead, the company is migrating users over to a similar title, Heping Jingying or Elite Force for Peace, reports Reuters and the Financial Times. Heping Jingying has already been approved for monetization by the Chinese Communist party, thanks in no small part to its patriotic overtones.
According to estimates from China Renaissance, the game had roughly 70 million domestic players, which would have allowed Tencent to generate annual revenues from in-app purchases of roughly $1.18 billion to $1.48 billion.
Over the past few years, the Chinese government has become particularly hostile to video games perceived as violent or addictive, with the state-run People’s Daily paper describing Tencent’s mobile smash hit Honor of Kings as “poison” that spreads negative energy.
Now for Chinese gamers, though, the disruption should be minimal. Tencent is allowing users to port over characters from PUBG Mobile to Heping Jingying, and one analyst told Reuters that the new game was incredibly similar to the older title.