Battlefield 4 banned in China over national security

Summary:Chinese government outlaws the first-person shooter game, accusing Electronic Arts of developing content that threatens China's national security and is a form of cultural invasion.

Battlefield 4: China Rising

The Chinese government has officially banned first-person shooter game, Battlefield 4, calling out Electronic Arts (EA) for developing content that threatens the country's national security.

It also accused the U.S. game developer for depicting a form of cultural invasion, according to a PCgames.com.cn report Friday. China's Ministry of Culture issued a notice prohibiting all materials related to the game in any form, including game downloads, demos, patch downloads, and news reports.

Set in the year 2020, Battlefield 4: China Rising features a fictional war in China triggered by Admiral Chang with plans to overthrow the current government. His success will be supported by Russia, but will bring China to war with the United States which relationship with the Russian is tensed. The game showcases the U.S. military's fight against the coup and Chinese Liberation Army.

The ban confirms previous predictions about the fate of the EA game in China, after an earlier report in state-run newspaper China Military, said Battlefield 4 "smears China's image" and was a new form of "cultural invasion".

The word "ZhanDi4", the Chinese translation for Battlefield 4, is already censored on the country's biggest social media site Weibo.com, however, online users in China are still posting peer-to-peer download links of the game under its English names and acronym "BF4".

Released in October, Battlefield 4 is available in North America, Europe, Jana, Australia, and New Zealand, and was not officially launched in China. 

Since its release, the game has been plagued with major technical bugs and glitches across all platforms it runs on including Microsoft Windows and Xbox, and Sony PlayStation. Last week, a class action lawsuit was filed against EA for allegedly issuing "materially false and misleading statements highlighting the purported strength" of the game's rollout. Filed by investors who bought the company's stock, the lawsuit accused EA of violating the Securities Exchange Act 1934 and artificially inflating its stock price by making the statements. 

Topics: Censorship, China

About

Liu Jiayi is a Hong Kong-based writer and editor.He produces video stories for Al Jazeera English and Severn News Australia, and also worked as the video editor for the Hong Kong-San Francisco Ocean Film Festival 2012. He is studying under a Master of Journalism Programme at the University of Hong Kong.

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