The Chinese media giant Tencent is partnering up with the PUBG Corporation to publish PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds in China, the two companies recently announced. However, the company will work to alter the game in order to make sure it is in "accordance with socialist core values."
As pointed out by the South China Morning Post, news of this announcement comes comes just a few weeks after China's State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television announced it was considering possibly banning the game for its violent content and "[deviation] from the socialist core values, traditional Chinese culture and moral norms."
Banning the game in China, though, would be a big blow. China right now accounts for about 40-percent of the game's player base, the outlet points out, citing metrics from SteamSpy. For any company able to get its hands on the game in the country, it stands to be a lucrative venture. Because of that, Tencent said it will work closely with PUBG Corporation and the Chinese authorities to change the game in necessary ways to keep it legal in the country.
"We will further highlight the teamwork and fair play spirit, making sure it’s in accordance with socialist core values and traditional Chinese cultures and moral norms,” Tencent said in a statement provided by the outlet.
To do this, Tencent said it will try to give players what it calls an "educational and guiding” experience, though didn't elaborate on what that meant. More information about game changes is expected to come soon.
"Tencent will localize and operate the game by catering to the preferences of Chinese gamers. We will also offer a different, fun experience on PC," Steven Ma, Senior Vice President of Tencent, said in a statement provided to Glixel.
In terms of the partnership on PUBG Corporation's side, it couldn't have found a better partner to work with in China. Just this year Tencent, known for publishing popular mobile games like Honour of Kings, saw its market value rise to $520 billion USD, making it the first Chinese company to crack $500 billion. This rise in value, as South China Morning Post puts it, puts Tencent in an "elite club that includes US tech giants such as Apple, Alphabet, and Amazon."
"PUBG has sold more than 20 million copies since we released the game in March 2017, and we expect our strategic partnership with Tencent to open up new horizons in the Chinese market,” CEO of PUBG Corporation CH Kim said. “We will do our best to present a great game to the Chinese users in close cooperation with the company.”
PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds, since its early access release in March, has shattered records left and right. It's not only sold more than 20 million copies, but is Steam's most-played game of all time. The game is expected to be fully released on PC by the end of the year and is coming to the Xbox Preview Program on December 12th.