Is ‘Fallout’ Really Banned in China?

is fallout 4 banned in china
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China is well known for its strict content policies and pretty heavy censorship in most wester-imported forms of media. One game that was suspected of being banned in China is Fallout 4 due to many references to fictional conflicts between China and the United States. Having said that, many players are wondering whether Fallout 4 is banned in China and what happened to those references.

  • Article Breakdown:
  • Fallout is not banned in China. And as far as we’re aware, nothing was changed in the original release of the game.
  • The game was not assessed by censors beforehand, and it was translated into the traditional Chinese language with all references and names left intact.

China’s relationship with the gaming industry is complicated, to say the least

We’re all aware that China has some pretty strict rules when it comes to gaming. In the attempts to stop the growing problems with video game addictions, it introduced certain rules in order to regulate it better.

For example, younger audiences are allowed to spend only a set amount of hours in the day gaming in order not to develop an addiction to certain games that seem to be fostered. The content is heavily monitored as well, and games in general that mention or depict drugs, sexual themes, blood, organized crime, or defamation of the Chinese government are outright banned.

For example, Battlefield 4 was banned in the past because it “besmirched” the image of the Chinese government, something that, under the current rule of the CCP, is akin to a mortal sin. Hearts of Iron, an extremely popular strategy game with pretty realistic gameplay elements, was banned for “distorting history and damaging China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.”

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There are many such examples, and most are rooted in truth. China is most often portrayed in the games as having a hidden agenda or taking on the role of placeholder villain, especially where all-out conflicts on a world scale are in question.
Such was the case in the Fallout series, where China is one of the mega countries that got pulled in and took part in the so-called “Great War” that eventually left the civilization on the brink of destruction.

Is Fallout 4 banned in China?

Fallout 4 is not banned in China. The game can be freely played, and as far as we know, nothing was censored. Players are most often wondering whether Liberty Prime, a giant communism-hating robot created by Brotherhood of Steel, was taken from the game when it comes to the Chinese version. As far as we know, it wasn’t taken from the Chinese version of Fallout.

There are a couple of reasons for this, however, and we’re going to try to explain them.

Liberty prime
Liberty Prime as seen in Fallout 4

For starters, China is not exactly portrayed as an all-out villain in the series, even though it took part in the Great War. There are many references to China taking part in the Great War, but nowhere is the Chinese government ridiculed or villainized. The same cannot be said for the government of the United States. It’s obvious that the series is referencing the government to be the actual main villain of the series. China is referenced many times in the quests, terminal entries, and dialogues, however, but it’s mostly some piece of information that serves to give context to something else; it’s nothing offensive to the CCP directly, or so we can assume.

Even though the Chinese did not censor or ban Fallout, the game was forced to change for the Japanese market. To be more precise, the name of the shoulder-fired catapult weapon system had to be changed from Fat Man to Nuka Launcher in the Japanese version of the game since it was an obvious reference to the nuclear bomb dropped on Nagasaki.

But, to return to the matter at hand, China has no such relations to the Fallout games and is mostly referenced in great detail on the Fallout wiki pages, so there’s no reason, as far as we know, for the game to be censored or even outright banned in China.

However, even if the game was banned in China, Chinese players wouldn’t have much trouble getting access to the game because China has a flourishing piracy market for offline games. It’s easier to acquire a pirated copy of the game in some cases than a legitimate copy. This, however, is only related to the games that have offline modes or campaigns since it’s nearly impossible to connect to legitimate servers using pirated copies of the game.

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