PUBG Corp., a subsidiary of Korean-based Bluehole, are the developers of PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds. Recently, the company has come under fire for releasing an item in the mobile version of the game which is considered controversial in Eastern countries. The item featured was a pilot mask item which displayed an image of the Rising Sun Flag of the Japanese imperial military on it.
While this item was only added to the mobile version of PUBG, a lot of players, specifically Koreans, noticed this. A lot of people regard the flag as the symbol of a war crime representing Japan’s imperialism and invasion of foreign countries, including Korea, during World War II.
The mask item was released on Saturday and it quickly formed a controversial topic. To prevent further damage, PUBG Corp. removed the item from the in-game shop mere hours after its release. Additionally, they co-operated with Tencent and Quantum Studios to issue an apology about the whole ordeal.
“We apologize for causing concerns over a pilot mask item,” stated the company via a report by The Korean Times. “We will conduct an overall re-examination of our image production process to prevent such a recurrence. We will enhance procedures to scrutinize game items before their release and hold the person in charge responsible.”
Simultaneously, the bot Unit 731, considered a reference to the Japanese army that developed chemical weapons and conducted human experiments on Chinese and Korean prisoners of war, was discovered in game. Well-known streamer ATHENA came across it while playing the game. This name has since been removed from the game.
Later on, PUBG Corp. explained that the item was scheduled to be deleted before its launch. However, due to mistakes, the deletion was not done properly. Following the events, PUBG Corp. stated that that it will refund the owners of the item as well as award all players 150 UC. These UC are a form of in-game currency that can be used to purchase cosmetics in terms of weapons skins and clothing.