Chinese government bans 'Battlefield 4,' claims it 'smears China's image'

EA is already dealing with an investor lawsuit which claims that the game publisher made misleading statements about the development of "Battlefield 4," and now the company has been informed that the modern military first-person shooter has been banned for sale in China for charges that it's a "cultural invasion" against the country.

According to the Chinese language site PCgames.com.cn, not only is "Battlefield 4" banned from sale, but the government's Ministry of Culture has shut down downloads of the game, either in full or demo form. Even news reports about "Battlefield 4" have been officially silenced.

The single player campaign of the game is set in the year 2020 and involves a fictional Chinese general staging a military coup d'état against his country's government with support from Russia. In its statement today, the Ministry of Culture slammed the game's story, claiming that it "smears China's image." It added that the game contained "content that endangers national security, and is all about a cultural invasion."

While the sales ban in China will likely be seen as a minor inconvenience for EA, the publisher is still dealing with a number of technical issues that affects all of the ports of "Battlefield 4." A month ago, the game's main developer, Digital Illusions, announced it had stopped work on all other game projects to fix the bugs that have been plaguing "Battlefield 4" players since its October release.

Source: PCgames.com.cn via ZDNet | Image via EA

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With China having people pumping out kids left and right and recently...easing the 1 baby rule...if I were China...I wouldn't be shutting down video games period.

Just means that people will have more free time on their hands to make more babies. That should be China's motto for keeping people busy playing games instead of making kids:

"VIDEO GAMES...THE ULTIMATE CONDOM."

Haven't played the storyline but who's side is China on in the game? Because in Multiplayer you fight both the Russians and the Americans.

China is in the middle of a civil war in the game - "China Rising" goes into the consequences OF that war. (Doubtless the reason for the PRC slapping the game with the banhammer is that it hits too close to home - remember, the PRC came to power due to such a civil war almost immediately following the end of World War II; the Long March was in 1947.)

China is butt-hurt? If they ever release a game in wich a german soldier (playable) kills two jews "by orders - storywise" , USA will ban it on first release!
I have nothing with Jews or their religion but they are the most butt-hurt people when it comes to history, people tend to forget about the Gulags, interment camps in Japan/Europe and the kills Stalin claimed while in his chair. No word about them.. just the jews. But thats another story.

Heck - I'm one of those that have pointed out that Stalin was not exactly all that sane - by referring strictly to his pogroms (most of which took place before Germany under Hitler had invaded anybody). Nobody disputed it; however, few others (except DocM) even commented on it. The military was ALSO aware of it - however, the most outspoken about it (Patton) got reamed a new sphincter for speaking out about it.

US unlike china and russia is a free country. you cannot ban a game or movie or article by law. well they can make a game to make america look bad, but they don't because they don't have what US has that is a free market for game publishers and free economy. so they have to take it.

There have been video games that show a bad image of wither the United States as a whole or even parts of the US military - or did you forget C&C Generals (both the core game, and, even more so, the Zero Hour expansion)? The interesting part is more the lack of reaction of the United States , compared to the "butthurt" feelings of China or Russia.

Hate to remind the PRC and Russians, but you are acting more Hitlerian than you should be - didn't Chancellor Hitler have a hissyfit after the German Olympic got themselves waxed in their own stadium? (And this is entertainment - not reality.)

While High School history books tend to show fascism and socialism as the ends of a spectrum, they're really almost identical. They tried to censor the Jewish and Black athletes in that Olympics just to avoid having to get beat on television and looking bad. They were very aware that they wouldn't be able to win all the events.

bladerunner82 said,
Its about time,someone to stand up against USA propaganda.

This is hysterical considering we're talking about the Chinese government and one of the most closed and controlled countries.

Banning a video game (or trying to get it banned) will do more to "smear" your image than a video game ever could.

Ask Jack Thompson.

Tha Bloo Monkee said,
Exactly. If China released a game showing the USA as the bad guy, you can be certain that the US government wouldn't be thrilled about it.

It still wouldn't be banned in the US.

There are movies where the US is bad... they just normally aren't very popular. Target demographic is everything.

The United States accounts for about 3% of the world's population. About time more games catered to international audiences.

Word. In the US we have a lot of jingoism. And what's wrong with inventing your own world and factions such as Halo or Killzone?

King Joffrey said,
Why dont they make game where sometimes USA is bad not every contry is bad only USA are good people and doing peace to earth!

I'm sure someone would do it if they had the talent and enough people were out there to purchase it. Until then, USA, USA, USA!

Javik said,
The United States accounts for about 3% of the world's population. About time more games catered to international audiences.

You should probably quote figures about US population as a percentage of the population of first-word countries... populations with enough disposable income to purchase these games.

You're still right, but remember... target demographic. Somali isn't it.

rfirth said,
You're still right, but remember... target demographic. Somali isn't it.

They need a Somali expansion pack for Pirates.

rfirth said,

You should probably quote figures about US population as a percentage of the population of first-word countries... populations with enough disposable income to purchase these games.

You're still right, but remember... target demographic. Somali isn't it.

Never said it was, but there's Europe, China, Japan, all massive third world markets.

Javik said,
The United States accounts for about 3% of the world's population. About time more games catered to international audiences.

Yea, maybe someone like Japan or Canada should get into the game industry.

Mr. Hand said,

Yea, maybe someone like Japan or Canada should get into the game industry.


Not sure if your serious? There are already plenty of game studios outside the US. There are quite a few based in Japan, Canada, Europe and even Australia (although most have shut down) and lots of other places as well. I think the US studios just get the most attention because they tend to make the more controversial games. It seems it's always a US studio in the news doing something "wrong". Whether it's Rockstar with its latest GTA or EA now with Battlefield etc.

King Joffrey said,
Why dont they make game where sometimes USA is bad not every contry is bad only USA are good people and doing peace to earth!

well they can make a game to make america look bad, but they don't because they don't have what US has that is a free market for game publishers and free economy. so they have to take it.

So do they ban every movie, game, and novel that features a FICTIONAL story about something corrupt in China?

BF4 is a game; not some agenda against China itself.

Yes, they do. Only a small proportion of western (or non-Chinese) films are legally released in the mainland yearly and books come under the same sort of scrutiny.

The recent legalisation of games consoles and games in China comes with them being vetted prior to release.

You could argue that this sort of behaviour will produce more home-grown talent and prevent the West (dominantly the US when it comes to entertainment) flooding the market. In movies this has actually had some success with a decent number of mainland movies released and been recieved fairly well within China however their language and cultural references will limit how well they are received outside of China.

Why should a country accept everything that is produced by another? They have a right to stimulate growth of that industry within their own country, regardless of how good or bad we as outsiders think the product is.

It's wrong to censor but i bet China and Russia are sick of games always making them look bad. It's always the same, play as some "good guy" 'America-f***-yeah-yanks and fight the "bad guys" which are usually Russian or Chinese. Yawn. I'd like to play a game for once that has the US as the bad guys, which they often are in reality. Americans cant handle that though and get extremely butt hurt over it.

I'm in agreement with that. If more war shooters didn't embrace the "Yay americuuuuh, f*** everyone else" mindset they would do better with international audiences.

i totatlly agree with you man, China did the right thing

americans can be real douches sometimes, and those games where you get to kill chinese, or koreans or russians or nazi zombies.. this is clear propaganda

its actually the usa who are the bad guys - making every country join NATO and fight for them in their made-up wars for petrol, because without petrol usa will disappear
NATO made my country destroy their nuclear weapons and sent our soldiers to fight in Iraq in a war thats not even theirs to die for

Iraq had nothing to do with no terrorism, the usa just destroyed their two buildings just so they can make an excuse to start a war with a country that never did anything to them, because when you start using your mind, you would realize that no jet figher planes can penetrate usa's airspace without being noticed and shot down

this is not a rant, this is connected to the games usa makes - you get to play as usa soldier or some other "good guy" and you get to "stop" the "evil-doers"

same goes with games where you have to fend off aliens.. hey, how come all the aliens go to attack the usa with super advanced technologies and americans fend off with slinshots and sticks and stones and still manage to defeat them?

THIS WHOLE THING WITH GAMES AND WARFARE AND EVERYTHING IS SO RIDICULOUS

what if Russians or Chinese or Germans make a game where usa and gb are the bad guys and you get to kill them and make the game specifically with english interface?

wont usa and gb ban them?

NoClipMode said,
Yawn. I'd like to play a game for once that has the US as the bad guys, which they often are in reality.

Spec Ops: The Line is the game for you.

what if Russians or Chinese or Germans make a game where usa and gb are the bad guys and you get to kill them and make the game specifically with english interface?

wont usa and gb ban them?

I don't think there would be any need to ban such games. I expect that people in the US and GB would find the games distasteful (killing patriotic soldiers and all that), and they simply wouldn't sell very well.

I'd guess that the people in China would also have trouble fully appreciating a game in which the player kills Chinese people, but perspective from the other person's shoes is difficult to grasp for some.

I loved the older Call of Duty's where you swapped between several soldiers in different armies around the World, fighting in different key battles in WW2.

zhangm said,

I don't think there would be any need to ban such games. I expect that people in the US and GB would find the games distasteful (killing patriotic soldiers and all that), and they simply wouldn't sell very well.

I'd guess that the people in China would also have trouble fully appreciating a game in which the player kills Chinese people, but perspective from the other person's shoes is difficult to grasp for some.

those games are too old now, they need to stop, and call of duty and battlefield games are being released so often, its ridiculous, ive lost count how many cod games are... and look at them - stupid names (made to sound cool and badass) and the same thing all over again, little children playing them (who would let them in the first place?!) and then raging when they are getting killed, i dont play CoD games, but i hope that you can turn off microphone so you dont speak or hear others speak, its a lot better...

on the other hand i play a game called Alliance of Valiant Arms, which is an alternative future (about 2018 or something) where you play with European Union vs the Neo Russian Federation and its pretty fair that in each game you get to play as either and so far the story doesnt say which side is winning, whats important, though, is that there are lots of players who can be called "trolls" and since you cant hide the chat you cant help but reading their insults or attempts to anger you

oh, and dont get me wrong, usa has many good things - like great indie rock bands, i lived from may to september in cape cod, ma and the simple people who live there, like me, are cool and polite, a little illiterate, like the son of my landlady (who was absolutely sure that rammstein were singing about some nazi stuff)

and as for games, there are games with little to no propaganda, like warcraft, starcraft, diablo, wow, the elder scrolls series... those are amazing games with not that much violence and no sub-message, even skyrim, where you kill stuff all the time, the main focus (as i see it) is developing your character and make it powerful (i quit though, when i was infected by vampires and got stuck in a dungeon at the same time) .. (i was drunk so i couldve figured it out, yet i deleted the game and my saves)

game developers should focus on games like this, also like minecraft, although minecraft is kind of retarded, its mostly about cooperation and interacting with other players

the main issue with games these days is violent games (like manhunt), propaganda games (like ww2 games) and overall competition games, competition is the bane of our modern gaming.. LEAVE COMPETITION TO ATHLETES

NoClipMode said,
It's wrong to censor but i bet China and Russia are sick of games always making them look bad. It's always the same, play as some "good guy" 'America-f***-yeah-yanks and fight the "bad guys" which are usually Russian or Chinese. Yawn. I'd like to play a game for once that has the US as the bad guys, which they often are in reality. Americans cant handle that though and get extremely butt hurt over it.

Heaven forbid! Everyone would be outside rioting and there would be an pandemonic chaos over it.

NoClipMode said,
It's wrong to censor but i bet China and Russia are sick of games always making them look bad. It's always the same, play as some "good guy" 'America-f***-yeah-yanks and fight the "bad guys" which are usually Russian or Chinese. Yawn.

Americans and Europeans have totally never had strained relations with China, Russia, or any other Eastern countries either eh? It's all just one big happy planet up in here!

If the other countries want to make their own Battlefield or Call of Duty games they absolutely can.

zhangm said,

I don't think there would be any need to ban such games. I expect that people in the US and GB would find the games distasteful (killing patriotic soldiers and all that), and they simply wouldn't sell very well.

I'd guess that the people in China would also have trouble fully appreciating a game in which the player kills Chinese people, but perspective from the other person's shoes is difficult to grasp for some.

You kill a lot of British regulars in Assassin's Creed 3 and IV. Didn't bother me as it was accurate within an historical context.

Saex_Conroy said,

wont usa and gb ban them?

Then we can ban any fictional books, writings, poems, movies etc that speak ill will of China and Russia, or any other country that doesn't like it. I wonder how many of those items in other countries paint their own country as the greatest and make USA or GB out to be the bad guys.... why don't we burn all of the works and then we can work on rounding up anyone who doesn't agree with our views, clearly it works out well for the last government/society that tried it....

I was more or less with you until this:

Saex_Conroy said,

... the usa just destroyed their two buildings just so they can make an excuse to start a war ...

well in all fairness these companies that make the games are from the United States, not to mention they always sell millions of copies regardless of what the storyline is.

suprNOVA said,
well in all fairness these companies that make the games are from the United States, not to mention they always sell millions of copies regardless of what the storyline is.

DICE is actually not.

Yep, DICE is from Sweden. There's a new DICE subsidiary in Los Angeles, they're the ones who made the China Rising DLC.

NoClipMode said,
It's wrong to censor but i bet China and Russia are sick of games always making them look bad. It's always the same, play as some "good guy" 'America-f***-yeah-yanks and fight the "bad guys" which are usually Russian or Chinese. Yawn. I'd like to play a game for once that has the US as the bad guys, which they often are in reality. Americans cant handle that though and get extremely butt hurt over it.

well they can make a game to make america look bad, but they don't because they don't have what US has that is a free market for game publishers and free economy. so they have to take it.