PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds will be officially launching in mainland China under Tencent Games’ publishing label. Ahead of the launch Tencent decided to clean up the game’s biggest, looming issue: cheaters.
Bloomberg is reporting that Tencent has worked with police to have 120 individuals arrested in China who were associated with distributing premium cheats for PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds.
Tencent actually announced that they were working with police and cracking down on suspects involved with cheat distribution rings back in late December of 2017 in a post on QQ. They stated that they had investigated and cracked down on more than 30 different outfits providing cheating tools, and worked with police to have more than 120 suspects arrested.
This all comes ahead of PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds launching in mainland China courtesy of Tencent. The company is obviously protecting its investment given that with cheaters out of the way the company could see massive sales from the hundreds of millions of gamers residing in China.
Tencent began the crackdown shortly after they publicly announced that they would be distributing the game in China back in November of 2017.
While things had been moving and shaking in China for the last two months, outside of China there are still plenty of complaints and petitions aiming to cordoned off PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds from Chinese gamers. PUBG Corporation has been making big bank on partnering with a Chinese VPN to sell the services to Chinese gamers so that they can play with those outside of the Asia region. However, many North Americans, Europeans and Australians have complained about the Chinese cheaters and their inability to speak English, and have been aggressively pressuring PUBG Corporation to ban Chinese gamers from being able to play with English speakers.
They also started a hashtag, #RegionLockChina, hoping that if they get the tag trending and the petition with enough numbers they can prevent Chinese gamers from interacting with everyone else playing PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds.
Creative director Brendan Greene has denied American and European gamers their request to block off the Chinese, the latter of whom make up for more than half of the 27 million sales for PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds. Greene told Polygon that Western gamers were being “xenophobic”, saying…
““It’s quite disgraceful to see. The Chinese player base is very passionate for Battlegrounds and they love our game. They’re the reason we have such a high number of concurrent users. Yes, there’s some cheaters that come out of there, but the majority of our Chinese players just love our game and love playing it.
“This kind of xenophobic attitude that a lot of Western players seem to have online is just disgraceful. It’s 2017! We live on one big planet together! What the fuck? I’m quite ashamed of those players that shout these things out. We want to create a great space for everyone to enjoy across the globe and locking one region out … I don’t know what the fuck they’re thinking.”
Well, many Western gamers angrily retorted that they were not xenophobic, but instead that they simply wanted to play the game they paid for, without having to encounter Chinese gamers who can’t speak English or are cheaters.
On the official forms, user m0rbs wrote a post on December 29th, 2017 stating that Western gamers simply wanted better quality of life experiences in PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, writing…
“ I’m not xenophobic, I’m not a racist. I’m a PUBG enthusiast who values an even playing field with quality opponents in every game. My time testing 1.0 on the test servers was amazing, fun, exciting. Why? Because the cheating That Region’s players, and majority of That Region didn’t play on the servers. Lag was bad at times, and rubber banding early was abysmal, but I would rather deal with early game lag and rubber band than ever play with a cheater.
“Most players aren’t xenophobic, but they may be developing racism towards That Region due solely to the fact that there is no region lock and they abuse their lag compensation advantage, the lack of actual punishment for cheating, and Bluehole’s lack of effort on actually improving everyone’s gaming experience. “
While PUBG Corporation doesn’t seem inclined to segregate the playerbase, Tencent does seem inclined to do something about the cheaters, even if it means having them physically arrested.
Even still, arresting the distributors doesn’t stop the users from using the cheat tools they’ve already acquired. How Tencent will deal with this issue leading up to the full launch of PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds remains to be seen.
(Main image courtesy of CeresFruit)