Monster Hunter: World Removed From WeGame By China
Monster Hunter: World already qualified as a massive success before its release on PC last week. The game is Capcom’s fastest selling title ever, and last week became Steam’s best-selling new title of the year. Capcom’s big risk paid off. Unfortunately for Chinese gamers, censors have put a stop to the sales on Tencent’s gaming platform, WeGame.
Chinese regulators cancelled the game’s operating license on Monday. Tencent only cited “a large number of complaints” as a reason. The company is offering players a full refund on the title. As a result, Tencent stocks dropped 2.4% on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. Players have 30 days to request a refund for Monster Hunter: World.
According to the Wall Street Journal, an analyst said the game’s depiction of corpses may be to blame. Skeletons aren’t banned from Chinese media, but they rarely make it into the final cuts. That’s what made the success of Coco in China such an outlier. (Ghosts and time travel, for the record, are not allowed.) Still, without any legitimate explanation, we may never know why the censors decided to put an end to Monster Hunter: World.
China has a long history of banning games for reasons Westerners would perceive to be petty. China banned all video game consoles for a decade and a half. They followed that with temporary bans for consoles lacking region locks. The Communist Party cancelled a PAX conference in Guangzhou because of their strict requirements for game screenings. Benign titles like Football Manager 2005 and Hearts of Iron received the axe for portraying Taiwan as a free country. Battlefield 4 “endangered national security.” The list goes on and on. Monster Hunter: World is not special in this regard, though it stands as a crippling blow to Tencent’s aspirations.
Monster Hunter: World was the first major title to launch simultaneously on Steam and WeGame. Tencent has been looking to break up Valve’s monopoly for some time, but they have struggled to make a dent in the market. Strict Chinese censors and endless red tape have caused countless delays and profit losses to many games, including PUBG. It’s hard to be a legitimate rival when you lack your competitor’s high quality games. Perhaps Discord can succeed where Tencent has failed, but it looks like the monopoly won’t be dying anytime soon.
For those of you outside of China, you can play Monster Hunter: World on PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. Sadly, it doesn’t look like we will see a Switch port any time soon.
Drew Weissman230 Posts
Drew is a freelance writer for DFTG. He's the former Managing Editor of Haogamers and has been published in the Chicago Tribune and The Paragon Journal. He also edited the novel Three Brightnesses and Artist Journey: Rachta Lin (2016 and 2017 editions).