Monster Hunter World breaks its Steam record but now faces a regulation nightmare in China

    
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SIR

The record for highest concurrent users on Steam for a game launched in 2018 goes to Monster Hunter World, smashing the record set by… Monster Hunter World. Yes, after hitting around 240,000 concurrent users at launch, the game went on to climb to 340,000 concurrent users over the weekend, which makes this a rather silly record but a significant one. It shows a game not just hotly anticipated but one actually building momentum.

It’s difficult to know exactly how many copies the game has sold thanks to Valve’s new way of handling services like SteamSpy, but estimates place it between 2 million and 5 million copies on the platform, with other data pointing closer to the 2 million figure. For an obscure title that had long been released only in Japan, it’s still an amazing number, and it seems to indicate that the title is doing quite well for itself. Even with the issues that the port has had.

Meanwhile, according to the Wall Street Journal, Tencent was forced to yank Monster Hunter World from its digital shelves in China thanks to Chinese regulators, who have apparently rescinded its license to operate in the region. It’s not entirely clear why, as Tencent isn’t talking (yet?) and China’s official explanation refers only to a “large number of complaints” regarding content (WSJ offers the notion that it’s the depiction of corpses that tripped censors). Those players affected will be refunded, and it’s a lot of folks: over a million preorders in China alone.

Source: VG24/7, WSJ
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rafterman74
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rafterman74

Obscured title only released in Japan…lol.

WTF Eliot.

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Schmidt.Capela

The one reason I haven’t purchased the game yet is because it uses the Denuvo copy protection; up to now I’ve refused to purchase any game that uses Denuvo, the only ones I have are those that I got as part of a bundle, and even then I would rather download a pirate copy than install the one with Denuvo I have a legitimate copy of.

On the other hand, Monster Hunter World might be the game that cracks my stance on never purchasing anything with Denuvo; only time will tell. Though even then I won’t be purchasing it at full price, I don’t want my purchase to be an incentive for companies to release games with that bloatware included.

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DeadlyAccurate

It’s a fun game, but someone deserves to be fired for that co-op implementation. It’s just bad. It’s a shame, because when it does work properly, it’s pretty cool.

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Diego Lindenmeyer

“its all good” talks in China dont work fanboys

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Danny Smith

So Radobaan and the Rotten Vale? yeaaaah good luck getting rid of the entire crux of the game before X’

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Sorenthaz

From what I understand China is stupidly sensitive about depictions of death with bones and so on. There are bone piles you obviously collect bones from, as well as bone weapons and bone armor. Then of course you’re carving corpses for parts…

So yeah I guess I can see why China would raise alarms over the game.

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Armsbend

I’ve always found it hilarious they are afraid of walking bones.

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Oneiromancer

And this is well known enough that the developer shouldn’t be in this situation…

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Rees Racer

Yes, the co-op multiplayer part of the game can be a bit cumbersome to set up, and doesn’t always work properly, but that’s to be expected straight away after the launch.

The complaints of PC performance issues are largely unfounded, in my experience, and I’ve had quite a lot of fun playing in my first “real” experience with a Monster Hunter game. I even mistakenly played for a couple of hours yesterday with EVE running in the background, and didn’t notice any performance drops of any kind.

If you’re waiting for Capcom to fully sort out the multiplayer portion, that’s valid. But if you want to jump in and have a go now, there’s no reason not to play. There’s plenty to do, and lots of weapons to practise on the beasties in the meantime.

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cursedseishi

(WSJ offers the notion that it’s the depiction of corpses that tripped censors)

Well… if that is it, goodbye to… Jeeze! Goodbye Rotten Vale, ye region made up entirely by the body of one massive wyvern. Goodbye Radobaan, ye old Jay Leno with a fetishistic desire to clad yourself in bone and black like some heavy metal wannabee. Goodbye Odogaron, ye crazy Freddy Krueger doggy who takes the concept of Ouroboros and says ‘screw that, I bite my tail off before eating it’.

And goodbye Vaal Hazak. Ye elder dragon destined to be the front Wyvern for whatever Old Spice-styled product could be released for your kind. Your musk was simply too devastatingly… devastating to be endured from your throne of corpses. Also, damn you look like a zombie.

Dantos
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Dantos

I remember reading, in regards to the Forsaken in WoW, they had to change the models so that they had no exposed bones in the Chinese version, since bones or maybe body parts, in general, are something of a cultural hang-up.

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Eamil

It’s not a blanket ban on bones/skeletons in general, apparently, but developers will err strongly on the side of caution to make sure the Ministry of Culture approves the game’s release. It’s also a possibility that the Ministry of Culture applies harsher standards to foreign games to give Chinese-made ones an advantage in the market.

There’s a good article about it here: https://www.techinasia.com/china-doesnt-censor-skeletons-the-truth-about-game-censorship-in-the-middle-kingdom

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cursedseishi

It’s a messy thing, since it wasn’t only an issue with the Forsaken (and any Undead mob in WoW) , another change that followed the model-edits was replacing a player character’s body with a tombstone rather than a ‘corpse’. And there were more edits that followed too.
https://www.engadget.com/2014/01/17/wow-archivist-wow-in-china-an-uncensored-history/

A lot of it is due to violence, gore and even death to an extent. Though China also has a grip on very… specific issues. Magic and the like often tend to be a hard no, though it isn’t always applied. And anything ‘taboo’ (like Winnie the Pooh right now) are also hard bans.

Eamil’s link below is a good touch on it too. It’s safe to say though that there is a really… tight… leash they keep on media, and more often than not outside media is hit even harder.

Loyheta
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Loyheta

“For an obscure title that had long been released only in Japan…”

What are you talking about? I think only one game hasn’t released here… Mh2 but even then it was released later as a psp game iirc. I’m really confused.

Loyheta
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Loyheta

Would have picked it up if it didn’t release so close to BFA. I’ll get it later on. Still one of my favorite game series.