Tencent has shut down the Chinese test version of PUBG Mobile after failing to gain approval to monetize the popular multiplayer shooter.
The battle royale game had been stuck in regulatory limbo for some time, with China's new State Administration of Press and Publication last year freezing approvals in an attempt to weed out games that didn't abide by the government’s standards.
Although the approvals process has since resumed, regulators are still working through a hefty backlog, and it would appear that Tencent has grown tired of waiting for PUBG Mobile to be given the green light.
As reported by Reuters, Tencent has now begun shifting PUBG Mobile's playerbase to a new title called Game for Peace, which many have noted bears a striking resemble to Battlegrounds.
Game for Peace gained monetization approval back in April, and analysts speaking to Reuters estimate it could now make $1.18 billion to $1.48 billion in annual revenue if it leverages the 70 million users who were playing PUBG Mobile.
Although Tencent is adamant the two games are "very different," those who've moved over to Game for Peace claim their progress has been carried over, and that the differences between the pair are surface level at best.
"Once I updated [PUBG Mobile] to Game for Peace it returned me back to the same level. The game changed its name and became very socialist to gain approval," said one player, noting how the title pays homage to the Chinese air force.
Game for Peace also appears to have been stripped of violent elements like blood and gore, with another player explaining that "when you shoot people, they don’t bleed, and the dead get up and wave goodbye."
They changed PUBG Mobile in China to comply with stricter game violence laws. Now when you 'kill' someone they give you a loot box and wave goodbye and honestly it's just so hilariously wholesome pic.twitter.com/Q5xkrtM0MA— Svend Joscelyne (@SvendJoscelyne) May 8, 2019