PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, a massively popular Chinese mobile game developed by Tencent, was pulled from all app stores on May 9, and promptly replaced by a very similar, yet China-approved, ‘Game for Peace’. The replica managed to become world’s highest grossing mobile battle royale shooter on iOS within just 72 hours since its release, according to Sensor Tower Store Intelligence estimates.
The PUBG replacement was tailor-made to conform to Chinese government’s request for less blood and gore. Instead of dying in combat, defeated players’ characters are now shown waving their arms to indicate that they have been eliminated from the exercise. The new approved rendition thus allowed Tencent to monetize the game.
Before it was removed, PUBG Mobile was available for more than a year in Chinese app stores but couldn’t offer any in-app purchases due to government restrictions.
Tencent said in a statement that the game had been created with “guidance from the air force recruitment center” in China and “pays tribute to the blue-sky warriors who guard the national airspace,” referring to members of the People’s Liberation Army Air Force.
Within three days since the launch of Game for Peace, Chinese players spent more than $14 million on Apple’s App Store, averaging at more than $4.7 million per day. For comparison, “PUBG Mobile” only made about $2.2 million in the overseas iOS App Store within the same period of time, making the income of ‘Game of Peace’ six times as high.’Game of Peace’ even managed to outperform Fortnite, one of the world’s top grossing games, that, however, only managed to make $4 million over the past three days.
Featured photo credit to Game for Peace