After waiting more than a year for the Chinese government to approve PUBG Mobile's in-game purchases, Tencent has pulled its battle royale from sale, instead pushing players towards a strikingly similar title, dubbed Game for Peace.
PubG is already a popular game around the world. Some of PUBG's elements go against guidelines set by the Chinese government, among them blood and gore, and lack of representation of socialist principles.
The company is now placing its bets on Game for Peace, a different game that it did manage to get approvals for.
Tencent says Game for Peace "pays tribute to the blue sky warriors that guard our country's airspace" and has a counter-terrorism theme.
According to Data consultancy Questmobile, PUBG had 186 million monthly active users (MAU) in China in February.
This effectively means PUBG's quest to invade China - officially at least - is nearing its end.
Reuters also reports that some Weibo users have claimed to have much of their PUBG history saved in the new title, including the experience level they had reached. As you'd expect, Game for Peace quickly gained approval for monetization in China. Tencent licensed PUBG in China and created a mobile version. "The game play, the background, the graphic design and the characters, they're nearly the same".
A spokeswoman for Krafton said the firm was looking into PUBG's status in China and declined to comment further.
The topic, "PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds is gone" was the most viewed subject on Weibo on Wednesday, with over 300 million clicks and close to 90,000 posts.
Instead, it directed users to a newly launched and almost identical Tencent-licensed title called "Game for Peace".
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