Bluehole Looks Inward After Offending Asia

PUBG developer Bluehole recently apologized to fans, as well as Asia, following the discovery an offensive in-game item. The item in question was a pilot’s mask that bore the rising sun insignia from the flag of World War II Japan.

As reported by BBC news and Korean-language news site Bzit., China and Korea took offense to the pilot’s mask for its reference to the Imperial Japanese Army. PUBG is a game owned by Bluehole, a Korean-based developer. For China and Korea, symbols of Japan’s aggression are offensive and seldom found in an entertainment medium. Therefore, Bluehole has apologized and promised to reevaluate their item-implementation process.

To make matters worse, a player found a PUBG AI bot named “Unit 731,” which is a reference to an actual Imperial Army unit. Unit 731 ran test facilities in Asia and conducted human experiments on Chinese, Korean, and Russian prisoners of war. By the end of their operation, 10,000 people had died in testing facilities. In conjunction with the pilot’s mask, the reference represents an ill-advised move on the part of creators, as well as a PR nightmare.


“We apologise for causing concerns over a pilot mask item,” the company said in a statement. “We will conduct an overall re-examination of our image production process to prevent such a recurrence.

“We will enhance procedures to scrutinise game items before their release and hold the person in charge responsible.”

Considering their negative feedback for Event Pass and their slow update schedule, PUBG creators are walking over glass. Who knows when some goodwill will come their way, but the game is still witnessing 1-million concurrent players.