Tencent Secures PlayerUnknowns Battlegrounds Publishing Rights In China
PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds is finally getting an official Chinese release. PUBG has been available to Chinese players since its Early Access launch back in March through Steam, but it had never been official sanctioned by Chinese authorities. Those issues can be put to rest since Tencent has secured the license to publish the game in China.
Tencent had been gunning for PUBG earlier this year with a rumored buyout proposal of Korean developer Bluehole. Those negotiations only led to a minority investment by Tencent. Last month, the Chinese government made waves by condemning PUBG and the Battle Royale genre for deviating from "socials core values". Perhaps caving to governmental pressure, Bluehole and Tecent have now reached an agreement. The news was broken by industry analyst Daniel Ahmad via twitter:
Tencent just announced that it will be the exclusive operator of PLAYERUNKNOWN'S BATTLEGROUNDS in China after partnering with Bluehole.
Will be official China server + emphasis on banning cheaters + making the game work around regulations. pic.twitter.com/q02njDxiLw
— Daniel Ahmad (@ZhugeEX) November 22, 2017
No release date or details have been announced yet, but it is very likely that Tencent will alter the game to meet Chinese standards. Expect blood to be changed to a different color at the very least. There are even rumor that the game will get a 'military training' back story which claims players are taking part in an elaborate military drill rather than a live fire scenario. Self deception at its finest! Tencent also promises to take a harsh stance on cheaters on the new Chinese servers.
Whether the current Steam version will remain accessible in China also remains to be seen. PUBG has singlehandedly altered Steam's playerbase, with mainland Chinese players now making up over 50% of Steam users, according to the Steam Hardware Survey.
Further Reading: Steam Hardware Survey (click Language)