Paladins studio “can neither confirm nor deny” that China is banning games

Dec 15 2018

According to a post on Chinese gaming forum NGA, a Chinese ethics board has ordered games like PUBG and Fortnite to be taken off the market.

A Reddit post recently relayed possible information from Chinese gaming forum NGA. According to the translation from Reddit user /u/ZeroWolfe547, China’s Online Gaming Ethics Review Committee looked over 20 popular online games for potential “ethic risks,” reportedly banning 9 of them, including PUBG, Fortnite, and Paladins. The Chinese gaming community may have another crackdown on its hands.

Blizzard and Tencent have been hit particularly hard by the review. If you include the Chinese publisher’s stakes in PUBG, League of Legends, and Paladins, Tencent has six games in the list of 20. Blizzard and NetEase appear three and four times, respectively.

Further down the list is a group of six games that have been banned altogether, most of which are battle royales; PUBG, Fortnite, H1Z1, and even Tencent’s own Ring of Elysium have all be banned for featuring “blood and gore.”

Hi-Rez’s hero shooter, Paladins, has also been outright banned, for a combination of “overly revealing female characters, blood and gore, and vulgar content.” As with Fortnite, the cartoon aesthetics of Hi-Rez’s shooter seems to be lacking any blood effects, so I’m unsure as to why Overwatch has been given a clearer pass.

Stew Chisam, president of Hi-Rez Studios, tells us:

“Tencent manages Paladins in China, including full operation of the game and all interface with the government in regards to the game. At this time Hi-Rez can neither confirm nor deny reports regarding a government ban, and can offer no insights on corrective action.”

Blizzard may have also posted an announcement on its official Weibo account denying that it has received notice for action on its games. That’s according to an update on the Reddit thread that brought this story to our attention, but can’t be verified as the announcement has apparently been deleted. We’re still waiting to hear from Blizzard in a more official capacity, and from Riot.