‘Game for Peace’ changes draw ire from ‘PUBG Mobile’ players

2 min read
Screen shot of the promotion page for Tencent’s “Game for Peace.” (Image Credit: TechNode)

Players aren’t pleased with the changes Tencent made in “Game for Peace,” the patriotic replacement of “PUBG Mobile” in the Chinese market, castigating the game on social media and app stores.

“Game for Peace,” which officially replaced “PUBG Mobile” on Wednesday afternoon, retained the core mechanisms of its predecessor but tweaked a number of details to make it more regulation-friendly.

The story background was switched from a battle royale match, where up to 100 players scavenge for weapons and equipment and fight others on an island until there is only one left standing, to an anti-terrorism military skills competition that is “open to tourists from around the world.”

When players are defeated, instead of immediately disappearing and dropping all their equipment in a loot box like they used to in “PUBG Mobile,” they suddenly sit up, reach for their back pocket, place a loot box with all their gear in front of them, and wave goodbye before disappearing.

“The waving feature is super annoying,” a Weibo user by the handle “Babybreath_lemon” said. “Every time I saw that I felt [the enemies] were not dead, so I shot them some more.”

“Game for Peace” also replaced depictions of blood, colored green to satisfy prior restrictions and now considered noncompliant according to the new game approval rules, with colorful light dots. Players complain that without the mist of blood that rises when enemies get hit, they can’t tell whether they are landing shots.

“How am I going to play the game if I can’t get any feedback on whether I’m hitting people?” a Weibo user named “bobo has a bad memory” said.

Another hotly debated feature is the pop-up notification that alerts players when there are five remaining, telling users that they’ve already won and asking whether they would like to continue. The notification not only appears in the center of the screen and impacts gameplay, but also makes very little sense, players said.

“The notification for the top five players is seriously stupid. Since I’m already among the top five, why wouldn’t I keep playing?” asked a Weibo user using a Chinese language handle, “mo yin yin.”

Some disappointed players went straight to mocking the game. “I suggest that the game remove weapons as well since they are super violent. We can just hold our hands together, watch the sunset, and decide who’s the champion with rock paper scissors,” Weibo user “JUST eee” posted.

Reviews on Apple’s App Store are also overwhelming negative, with users lamenting the shutdown of “PUBG Mobile” and criticizing “Game for Peace” for its unrealistic game experience and changes to appease regulators.

“What has this game become? Not only me, but several random people I teamed with said the same thing,” read one comment from user using a Chinese user name, “e ge ge.” “My friends have uninstalled the game, and I’m going to do the same after I leave this comment.”

Despite the negative reviews from players, market estimates for the game are positive as the two games are essentially the same, with “Game for Peace” featuring some relatively minor updates. Analysts at investment bank China Renaissance told Reuters that “Game for Peace” could potentially generate RMB 8 billion to RMB 10 billion (around $1.18 billion to $1.48 billion) in annual revenue.