Hi-Rez Studios Issues Statement On Games Allegedly Banned In China

Hi-Rez Studios, the publisher behind Paladins, has issued a statement on the alleged ban of several video games in China. Stew Chisam, president at the game publisher, said that Tencent manages Paladins in the country. He added that at this time, the studio can neither confirm nor deny the reports on the ban.

The statement comes just days after reports said that the country had banned several video games. The list of the games banned has been revealed but the government has not confirmed it.

China created an organization last year to review video games. The list of games banned appears to have gone under review. Some games in the list have prohibited/withdraw next to them while others have corrective action.

The ban is big news since it includes some of the most popular games around the world. Among the games banned are PUBG and Fortnite, titles that have recently set records on player count and sales.

Game developers behind the titles banned or that need changes have not really spoken on the reports. The studio is one of the first to come out and say that they can’t confirm the reports.

Many of the titles on the list happen to be very popular in China. Some are produced by giants such as NetEase and Tencent. The list names 20 games, with nine of them receiving the prohibited/withdraw decision.

The ban includes mostly battle royale games such as H1Z1, PUBG, Knives Out and Fortnite. The cause box mentions that these games have blood and gore. The cause is a bit surprising for Fortnite since the game does not have blood. The game tries to distance itself from violence as much as possible. Players disappear from the map once they are eliminated and there are no blood effects when they are shot.

Fortnite made its debut in the country earlier this year. The battle royale game was released back in 2017, becoming a hit in the US and other countries right away. Reports said the regulations kept Fortnite and other games from arriving earlier.

Paladins has been banned along with the battle royale games. The ban is also a bit confusing since the game does not have blood effects. It is currently unclear why similar games were allowed to make changes while others were simply banned.

The ban affects mostly Tencent, Blizzard and NetEase. Tencent is involved with six games on the list. NetEase has four while Blizzard has three. The Chinese government has not confirmed the reports or given any details on the reviews.

Bloomberg reported in August that China, the largest gaming market, was not approving video game licenses. The report mentioned that the country had not approved a license in the last four months. Unnamed sources told Bloomberg that officials are concerned with the sex and violence shown in the games. The game approval process is said to be very strict in China, where at least two agencies take a look at the video games.

At the time of the report, it was said that many companies were being affected, including Tencent. The latest report is not good news for game developers since it appears that the review process is very strict and could result in a ban, even if you have a cartoonish theme and no blood effects.