- China’s recently implemented gaming regulations hit PUBG
- Streaming platforms across China have stopped broadcasting PUBG competitions
- This will have an effect on tournaments and the game’s popularity
China’s regulatory agency, the National Press and Publication Administration or NAPP, has banned all PUBG esports competitions due to a lack of approval.
Streaming Platforms Ban PUBG
PUBG has been a staple in gaming culture in China and across the world for years. However, the popular battle royal has been targeted by China’s new gaming regulations. In August, the Chinese government implemented new harsh gaming laws regarding underage citizens, restricting their weekly allowed gaming time to just 3 hours, amongst many other implemented rules.
This affected many esports organizations, events, and games, and it seems PUBG is going to be the next victim. According to PlayerIGN, a source known for publicizing leaks related to PUBG, it seems that the game was reportedly removed entirely from Chinese streaming platforms Huya, DouYu, and egame.qq.
Tencent is China’s largest media conglomerate and also owns the country’s largest streaming platform – Penguin Esports. Penguin has removed PUBG broadcasts entirely. DouYu and Huya have changed the name of the game to “Chicken Game” and “Daily Chicken Dinner,” respectively, in an attempt to circumvent the restrictions.
One idea floating around the Internet is that the ban is also an attempt to target Steam, as it is an overseas gaming platform.
How Will This Affect Tournaments and the Game’s Popularity?
The game has been extremely popular in China, however, it has been awaiting game approval by the NAPP. These new changes will also hit PUBG Champions League (PCL), which is hugely popular in China, with events with millions of dollars in prizes.
Vice President of China Culture Management Association Esports Committee, Yibo Zhang, said in an interview for the Sports Business Journal that the new ban will affect thousands of PUBG tournament organizers, teams, content creators, professional players, and streamers. He added that it is still unknown if PUBG will be banned on live streaming platforms. As of now, only PUBG tournaments are being affected.
One major consequence of this ban is that PUBG Champions League won’t be able to start, depriving Chinese teams of the chance to qualify themselves for the PUBG Global Championship.
The Chinese government states gaming addiction as the justification behind its recent rules and regulations regarding video games. Tencent has also banned teens and children under 16 years of age to stream streaming or be streamed.
Even so, both players and companies have already tried many creative methods to circumvent the restrictions.
It is certain that the ban will impact the game’s popularity throughout China and neighboring countries, which used to view it on Chinese streaming platforms. It is still unknown how this will affect the PUBG Global Championship, which is supposed to start on November 19.