In PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, players can customize their character with a variety of cosmetic items that can be purchased in-game. However, one item that was recently added to PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds has been the source of some controversy, and has since been removed as a result.
The item in question was a pilot mask that appeared to feature “rising sun” imagery, which is potentially offensive to both Korean and Chinese people, as it is associated with the Imperial Japanese military. The offensive mask was reported on by some Korean-language media, which appears to have played a role in PUBG Corp’s decision to pull it and offer refunds to anyone who purchased it.
The pilot mask wasn’t the only potentially offensive thing relating to the Japanese military that was recently found in PUBG. A player discovered that one of the AI bots was named Unit 731 after the Imperial Japanese military division of the same, which conducted chemical weapons experiments on Chinese, Korean, and Russian prisoners of war. While conducting these experiments, Unit 731 reportedly took the lives of about 10,000 people.
Like the pilot mask, the Unit 731 bot has also been removed from PUBG. Bluehole has since released a statement on the matter, promising to prevent a future occurrence and holding “the person in charge” responsible. According to Bluehole, the pilot mask wasn’t even supposed to be released, so it seems as though someone behind the scenes made an error.
The pilot mask and Unit 731 bot are just the latest in a long line of controversies that PUBG has experienced since launch. For example, PUBG filed a lawsuit against Fortnite that was largely criticized, it’s been accused of being an asset-flip, and the way it implemented its Event Pass was also condemned by the community.
Despite its issues and various controversies, though, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds remains one of the most popular games available today. Even with its player count cut in half, PUBG is still a juggernaut, and hopefully it is able to avoid adding offensive cosmetic items and controversies in general in the future.
PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds is out now for Android, iOS, and PC, and on Xbox One through early access.