Tencent's blockbuster video game "Monster Hunter: World" axed in China days after launch

PHOTO: Reuters

HONG KONG - Shares in Chinese technology giant Tencent Holdings Ltd's tumbled on Tuesday a day after Chinese regulators blocked the sale of one of its blockbuster video games, "Monster Hunter: World", less than a week after the game was launched.

The game, where players hunted fearsome creatures, has been pulled off Tencent's WeGame distribution platform after it was released on August 8, the gaming firm said in a statement posted on the website.

"The game is no longer available after the regulators received a large number of complaints that some parts of the game content do not meet regulatory requirements," Tencent said in the statement.

Shares in Tencent, which is set to report its half-year earnings on Wednesday, slid more than 3 per cent in early morning trading, against a 0.62 per cent fall in the Hang Seng index

Developed by Japan's Capcom Co Ltd, Monster Hunter: World has sold over eight million copies worldwide by April of this year and Tencent had licensed the game to sell to personal computer users in China.

Daiwa Capital Markets analysts described Monster Hunter as one of Tencent's key launches for the second half of 2018 in a July 19 note.

Tencent's statement also said that players who purchased the game are entitled for a full refund by August 20 or they can continue to play but there is no guarantee that the service will continue.

It is not the first time Tencent's games have come under scrutiny. Last year, Tencent had to change a popular battle royale-style game that the regulator said was too gory and violent and bring it closer in line with "socialist core values" before being allowed to release it in China.