Battlefield 4 News: China Rising DLC Gets the EA Game Banned in China
The Wall Street Journal is reporting today that EA's Battlefield 4 has been banned by the Chinese government. The reason for this surprising news seems to be the release of the China Rising DLC, whose storyline revolves around a Chinese military leader who decides to attack American forces as part of a coup.
But what's wrong with that in a series that's clearly a work of fiction? Well China thinks that it needs to ban the game on grounds of "national security" and perceived aggression against the Chinese culture.
EA has declined to comment on the issue, but really, they don't have to, since EA doesn't even sell the game in the country! Most publishers choose not to publish more popular games in China because of the absolutely rampant piracy and EA is no exception. Plus, when a game goes to a country as easily spooked by culture as China is they have to spend huge amounts of time removing anything from the game that could remotely be perceived as offensive. (See- Germany with any Nazi imagery.) So it's generally easier for them to just not release it at all, especially since large amounts of potential customers are just going to take it anyway.
The WSJ reports that this is unlikely to have any impact at all on EA's business. An analyst at Wedbush Securities named Michael Pachter noted to the journal that the country constantly censors content, including the entire internet, and that videogame companies have in the past spent months and months censoring such offensive things as bones from games in order to get past the government censors. BONES! Can you imagine trying to get a violent war game like Battlefield past them if they can't get friggin' bones?
But hey, if EA wanted to they could capitalize on this to prove how controversial their game is. A nice sticker that says "Banned in China!" would certainly attract interest among potential buyers of the game, although likely it's not the kind of attention the giant publisher wants.
This isn't the first time the series has skirted controversy from foreign governments, either. A section of Battlefield 3 was set in Tehran and it sparked complaints from Iranians, subsequently getting banned in that country.