China orders Tencent to kill game just days after its debut

A man walks past an advertisement at Hong Kong's international airport for the WeChat social media platform owned by China's Tencent company. (Photo: Richard A Brooks, AFP)
A man walks past an advertisement at Hong Kong's international airport for the WeChat social media platform owned by China's Tencent company. (Photo: Richard A Brooks, AFP)

Tencent took another hit to its gaming business, after regulators told the social media giant to remove Monster Hunter: World from its PC downloads service just days after the action title’s debut.

Parts of the Capcom hit failed to meet regulatory standards and the relevant authorities received a “significant amount of complaints,” which in turn spurred the government to revoke an operating licence, Tencent said in a statement without elaborating.

Its shares were down more than 2% on Monday, while Capcom’s stock was down almost 10%.

It’s the latest blow to Tencent’s gaming operation, which has faced a series of hiccups. The company hasn’t won the necessary approval to begin generating money from its marquee mobile game, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, and has yet to receive the green light for introducing the desktop version to China. That’s hobbled revenue growth at the internet giant and contributed to a 15% slide in its stock since June.

The Radii blog first reported on the game’s suspension. Japanese studio Capcom’s title has sold more than 8 million copies globally.

The series, where players hunt the titular beasts, has been popular in Japan for over a decade. With the new title, Capcom re-designed many elements specifically tailored for Western audiences, such as including more online play and letting players move freely through the game.

* Fin24's parent company Media24 is part of the Naspers Group. Naspers owns a stake in Tencent.

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