One of the hottest PC games in the world — “PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds,” a violent game in which 100 players fight to the death — hasn’t been approved for sale by China’s strict regulators. Yet the game is a bonafide hit in China, where more than a third of its active players reside [Editor’s note: the link may be paywalled]. The Information reports: Most Chinese players have gotten their hands on PUBG, as the game is widely known, from Steam, a game service that has become the equivalent of an iTunes for PC games around the world. While China’s censors have blocked other Western platforms for distributing media, they haven’t yet prevented access to Steam, which is operated by the U.S. company Valve. That has made Steam a rare example of a foreign online service that has navigated around China’s strict regulations on content, mostly by flying under the radar of authorities, and by being in a medium –games — with fewer political sensitivities than other categories. […] Steam appears to operate far more freely in China. A wide array of unapproved titles are available on the service, which is hosted on servers in Hong Kong, a person familiar with the matter said. Those titles include “Grand Theft Auto V” and horror games based on the Walking Dead and Friday the 13th franchises. PUBG is sold on Steam for 98 yuan ($15), about half its retail price elsewhere, a special discount for Chinese players.
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