Bringing “socialism with Chinese characteristics” to PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds isn’t the only project that Tencent has on the books, it’s also planning to release a mobile version of the world’s most popular battle royale shooter.
The Chinese tech giant announced last week that it had secured the rights to officially release PUBG in China, vowing to make sure the gory shooter would first be in accordance with “socialist core values” and “traditional Chinese cultural norms and ethics.” It has also promised to crack down on the game’s thriving Chinese hacker community.
In the meantime, Tencent has now promised that it will work with PUBG Corp to make a mobile game that is faithful to the PC original, while also following Chinese rules and regulations.
Designed by South Korea’s Bluehole’s PUBG places up to 100 players on a deserted island where they must pick up weapons and gear to kill their opponents and be the last one left alive. While the aesthetics of the game have not endeared it to China’s media watchdog, it’s still managed to sell more than 20 million copies worldwide since its early release on Steam in March. Now, nearly half of its active players are in China.
Though translating a game like PUBG to mobile may seem like a difficult task, it’s important to note that there are already a number of massively popular PUBG copycat games on the Chinese mobile market. NetEase-made games “Terminator 2” (终结者2) and “Wilderness” (荒野行动) have both been accused of shamelessly ripping off PUBG — they are now the first and third most downloaded free mobile games in the country.
It’s not clear when PUBG for mobile will be ready, but when it is, China will get first dibs at playing it. China Number One!