Battlefield 4, EA's embattled first person multiplayer FPS, has been hit by yet another setback as China has now banned the game following the release of its China Rising DLC.
Battlefield 4 China Rising.
Although Battlefield 4 has not officially been released in China, the government has nonetheless intervened issuing a complete ban on everything to do with the game - called ZhanDi4 in China - including even talking about it on the country's largest social network Weibo.
The government accuses EA of including content in the game that threatens China’s national security. Set in 2020, the singleplayer campaign features a coup by the Chinese military and a subsequent collaboration with the Russians, a combination the US then has to take down. The story actually pivots on a friendly Chinese politician but the majority of the game has a strong anti-Chinese feel.
"Ministry of Culture: Battlefield 4 is an illegal video game, with content that endangers national security. It is an aggressive attack on our culture. After the ban of Battlefield 4, we demand that all items related to the game — downloads, Raiders, patches and news — are to be deleted"
, reads a statement on China.com translated by Polygon
Although the singleplayer campaign of the original game is provocative enough, it is the China Rising expansion that has proved the tipping point. It includes four new maps on the Chinese mainland, ten new assignments, new vehicles, as well as the Air Superiority gametype.
This latest setback follows a steady stream of issues with the flagship release. Although launching to positive reviews within a few days of release it was clear the game simply wasn't stable. As a result its developer, DICE, put all other development on hold while it fixed the game.
EA, the game's publisher, has also been hit with a lawsuit by investors who feel the company mislead them about the readiness of the game.
It's likely the China ban won't have a huge impact on EA's finances in the short term as revenue from the region would have minimal but future hopes of expansion into the territory could well be affected.