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The Chinese version of Roblox is currently offline

LuoBuLeSi, the version of Roblox published by Tencent, was taken offline last month.

Game-making game platform that is also a game Roblox had a strong 2021 (driven in part by Roblox Corp.'s dive into the stock market), but there's one part of the world where it's not taking off--China. The folks at TechCrunch have learned that the Chinese version of Roblox (titled LuoBuLeSi) has been offline for the last month.

LuoBuLeSi, published by Tencent as part of a partnership with Roblox Corp., debuted on iOS and Android platforms just last July. A translated post by the game's operators said that this version of the game was intended to be an "archive-deleting test version." Frustrated players have noted on Chinese social media that this "test version" allowed them to make purchases with real money.

The reason for LuoBuLeSi's delisting is unclear. A Roblox Corp. spokesperson told TechCrunch that building up the game-making platform in China is "an iterative process." Chinese regulators did spend much of 2021 decrying excessive video game use and tightening restrictions on the Chinese video game market (the Chinese version of Fortnite was cancelled last November) but there's been no direct implication that the Chinese version of Roblox was shut down by the government. 

Outside of China, the makers of Roblox also spent 2021 fending off criticism on how its economic models work to reward (and sometimes possibly exploit) underage game developers. It'll be interesting to see if Roblox adjusts its practices at all this year with extra eyes on the company. 

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