Monster Hunter: World axed in China days after launch

It's not even been a week.

Monster Hunter: World has been axed in China.
Screengrab by Zoey Chong/CNET

China's Great Firewall has done it again.

Monster Hunter: World has got the axe in China just five days after its launch on Tencent's WeGame, the Steam-esque platform announced Monday. WeGame said the role-playing title will no longer be available for purchase following "numerous reports" received by authorities complaining that some parts of the game do not fulfil regulatory requirements.

The role-playing title, released Aug. 8 on the platform, was listed as one of WeGame's best-selling new games with a 91 percent rating by players at time of writing. Users are expressing their disappointment on Twitter-like platform Weibo, calling it "the darkest day" in China's gaming industry.


The notice put up on WeGame's platform tells players Monster Hunter: World will no longer be available for purchase.

Screengrab by Zoey Chong/CNET

Players who have made purchases are given a week to apply for a refund -- offered without conditions -- and also receive a 30 yuan coupon that will be credited to their accounts, the notice read. Those that fail to do so by the stipulated date are allowed to continue playing the game although the platform does not guarantee the continuance of all services, which could affect gameplay.

It's not the first time Tencent's games have come under scrutiny. Last year, the tech titan had to restrict playtime and come up with other solutions such as a digital contract for children playing its popular title Honour of Kings (known as Arena of Valour elsewhere). The game had come under fire because parents and teachers were concerned children would become addicted to it.

This time is different though. Monster Hunter: World was likely pulled because of "bureaucratic infighting" stemming from China's new media regulator, which has established control of gaming approvals, according to the Financial Times, which cites an unnamed source. 

CNET has reached out to Tencent for a comment.

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