Two major video game players may lose their share of the Chinese market, as reports have emerged suggesting that both Fortnite and PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds have been banned from in China altogether. Both games were big fixtures of the online multiplayer communities in China, but may not be permitted to return since they have not been designated as needing "corrective action" but rather appear to have been banned outright.
Earlier this month, the Chinese government moved forward with its new Online Ethics Review Committee, a government body that exists solely to review online games and determine whether or not they violate Chinese social and ethical rules. The creation of the new committee was instigated after growing concern in the country over how many young Chinese citizens were playing online games that weren't being directly regulated by China, and reviewed twenty online games in its first round of reviews.
According to online reports, those reviews have found both Fortnite and PUBG to be in direct violation of the new online ethical rules, and have both been banned in the country. According to the report, these two titles were both banned for their gratuitous depictions of blood and gore, despite the fact that Fortnite has made something of a name for itself by explicitly not including any sort of viscera effects in its gameplay. Other titles, like League of Legends, Overwatch, and Diablo were noted as needing "corrective action" but are not actually banned as of yet.
If Fortnite and PUBG are banned from online play in China, it could be a major blow to both the developers behind them. The Chinese gaming market is massive, and despite following its own unique set of rules, remains a lucrative venture for companies that are able to establish a foothold within it. With so many other popular games taking a hit from the review, those that are left playable could all be set for huge spikes in player counts as those left stranded without their game of choice begin to seek out alternative options.
Screen Rant has reached out to PUBG Corp and Epic Games. As of this writing, we did not receive a response from PUBG Corp, while Epic Games' has "no comment." The writing seems to be on the wall, though, and it really does feel like Fortnite and PUBG may see their days in China coming to an end - a grim prospect for both developers, and a window of opportunity for some others to establish themselves as legitimate multiplayer contenders in their absence.