PUBG could be banned in China for being too violent and “harmful to young consumers”

The game is currently hugely popular in the country.

Image via Bluehole, Inc.

PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds could be banned from China, in a major blow to the game.

China’s Audio-Video and Digital Publishing Association believes that PUBG is too bloody and violent for sale in the country. The game also apparently “deviates from the values of socialism”, according to a translation by Bloomberg.

The game is only available to download in China through virtual private networks, right now as it has yet to be officially approved for distribution.

But this intervention means that that approval is very unlikely to come.

“This basically spells the death sentence for PUBG in China,” Benjamin Wu, an analyst at Shanghai-based consultancy Pacific Epoch, told Bloomberg. “PUBG’s main problem is that the underlying ideology clashes with what’s preached in China.”

The announcement also explicitly discourages the development and release of battle royale-style games.

This would obviously be a monumental blow to PUBG’s playerbase, but just how big it truly is might surprise you. According to SteamSpy, China currently makes up the vast majority of PUBG’s current playerbase.

PUBG has been one of the breakout games of 2017, but losing such a huge potential market would almost certainly be a major setback.