The world’s hottest video game is set to be locked out of the biggest market. PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds — where competitors fight to be the last one alive — is too bloody and violent, according to an announcement posted by the China Audio-Video and Digital Publishing Association. The gladiator-like mentality of the computer game deviates from the values of socialism and is deemed harmful to young consumers, it said. Any license for the game known as PUBG is highly unlikely, given that the industry association consulted with the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television before issuing its statement. SAPPRFT is the regulator that licenses virtually all content in China and has previously banned TV series “BoJack Horseman” and “The Big Bang Theory” to last year’s remake of the movie “Ghostbusters.” The clampdown coincides with growing interest from Chinese gamers and companies in PUBG, which has sold more than 13 million copies this year and is published by South Korea’s Bluehole Inc. Tencent Holdings Ltd., China’s biggest gaming company, was in discussions to purchase licensing rights, the South Korean company said last month. Tencent and Bluehole didn’t respond to requests for comment.
PUBG is inspired by the Japanese film “Battle Royale” and involves 100 players being dropped onto an island and battling to the death. The last one standing wins. China’s content watchdog said it strongly opposes Battle Royale-like games and they will have a hard time wining operating licenses, according to the industry body. The association also recommended that Chinese companies do not develop such games and discouraged live streaming of related content. China is the world’s largest market for videogames, with industry revenue expected to hit $27.5 billion this year, slightly ahead of the U.S. with $25 billion, according to researcher Newzoo.