Battlefield 4 banned in China over national security

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.

TOPICS: Censorship, China
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 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, 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

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  • Sigh . . .

    "developing content that threatens China's national security and is a form of cultural invasion."

    Say what?

    It's a game. It's fiction. Games have been released with an anti-US message sometimes. Doesn't mean our government goes around banning them.

    That's the Chinese way, though - they don't like it, they ban it.

    "and artificially inflating its stock price by making the statements."

    Sigh . . . seriously? We sue people for making statements?

    We all know (or should know) that releasing a new product is inherently risky, especially in the gaming business. Not sure why investors would be surprised?

    Maybe they're just old people thinking that games are like cars or something - always reliable. Not really the case with games, and likely never will be, sorry.

    Although it is true that EA tends to have a terrible history of predicting their rollouts. The people at the top ignore people at the bottom and push deadlines, regardless any warning signs of those at the bottom. This year's release of SimCity is an excellent demonstration of that.

    Beta testers were saying wait, this isn't right yet . . . and the people in charge said oh no, don't worry about that, we have it under control . . . and they didn't.

    Anyhoo, that's not really relevant to stocks :/. People should know better than to treat gaming stocks as low risk.
    • moh

      Medal of Honor was almost banned in the us becuase players could play as the talibans and could kill us troops online.
      Sydney Zmega
      • Almost banned?

        What are you smoking?
    • banned

      banned in millitary bases:
      Sydney Zmega
      • Come on now

        Banned by the military does not even begin to equate with banned in the US. However, given the current political climate, one can't help but wonder what's coming.
      • Not sold by the Exchange isn't really the same . . .

        Not sold by the Exchange isn't really the same as being banned by the government. A soldier could still stop by the local Wal-Mart, buy it, own it, and play it.
        • recode

          they made the developers remove the option to play as the "Taliban" online.
          Sydney Zmega
    • dumb

      We should ban China!
      • Biting the hand that feeds U.S.

        The U.S. will resist at all costs doing something like that -- our economy *relies* upon products made or assembled in China. That said, *if* the U.S. does begin to "limit" this dynamic, take that as a sign of a much bigger political/military action on the horizon.
    • Bf4

      I think that people in china if they want to play it they can come to a different conrty and play it and come right back to china
      • good idea

        in fact, the bf4 is still sold in china on the webstore, but illegal.
  • China censorship

    China censorship? Not a chance! It's not like they've ever done anything previously to indicate a lack of respect for human rights. ;-)
  • What???

    I don't see how BF4 can make China look worse than their history has.
    • History? Careful, Mr. Perry

      Slavery existed here both before and after the U.S. Declaration of Independence and Constitution were drafted. And it persisted for nearly 90 years until President Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863.

      The U.S. government waged genocide against native Americans, forced the native peoples onto reservations (sometimes, far from their native lands), attempted to strip them of their cultural heritage and modified the reservation boundaries so that natural resources could be, essentially, stolen from them.

      The U.S. government stole a large swath of northern Mexico that, today, largely represent the states of Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California. And, even today, Mexicans crossing the U.S. border illegally, looking for work and better lives for their families, are arrested and deported. And in many cases, families are split up.

      I could go on, but will stop here.

      Look, there are many good things that the U.S. has done, but 'history' requires one to revisit both the good and the bad.
      Rabid Howler Monkey
    • don't be misled by the government/media :)

      as a chinese,i almost have no idea about what you mean the "history",maybe our government has hide something or your government make up some stories.

      as a bf-fan, i feel disappointed about the ban, but i understand what the government means, that maybe, china will not invade other countries, and what the game delivers is misleading.

      so, although the manner is not so appropriate, it is infact a good will. :)

      ps:as to the issue about Southchina sea,consider what us did in Iraq or other place.everyone persue his own interest, the country is the same.
  • China = Hypocrisy

    "It [China] also accused the U.S. game developer [EA] for depicting a form of cultural invasion"

    One must wonder why China doesn't view it's actions in Tibet as "a form of cultural invasion". In this case, it doesn't represent a mere "depiction", but, rather, reality.
    Rabid Howler Monkey
  • Captive's no escape

    I suck's to be in China.

    The game is awsome! frag on remember command and conquer and the the terrorist mini trucks alalalalalalalalalala!
  • Tuff tell china to stuff it

    Tuff tell china to stuff it . They need us to sell stuff to , we need them to make our stuff , so we dont have to put children in factories . Lets not make the whol budget and the nonsense cloud world views. End of the day you can have two million people as a standing army are larger. 50 percent of chinese firearms dont work the day they are unpacked . So lets not get upset about china or even how they feel. There is a trade off both goverments came to an agreement now deal with it , or win war . Police the world than complain . The us has to be sensative to everything not u.s , spend one week in europe all they every talk about is the ugly americans . Should we censor what you say about us ? That would be like your central goverment pulling google or not letting you read full books i,e the bible . So cry somewhere else but not here you got the biggest market that owes you money, we dont owe you nationalism too
  • ssdf

    Guys Check This Out
    Sabel Hack
  • Bf4

    I think that people in china if they want to play it they can come to a different country and play it and come right back to china.