The Ministry of Culture of the People's Republic of China has reportedly banned Electronic Arts' Battlefield 4 on the grounds that it contains content that endangers national security, according to news outlets like China.com, QQ and an article on PCgames.com.cn that has since been taken down.
The Chinese websites cite a notice the Ministry of Culture recently issued that declared Battlefield 4 illegal. China.com posted what appears to be a screenshot of the notice to its website, which translates to:
Ministry of Culture: Battlefield 4 is an illegal video game, with content that endangers national security. It is an aggressive attack on our culture. After the ban of Battlefield 4, we demand that all items related to the game — downloads, Raiders, patches and news — are to be deleted.
Polygon has reached out to EA for comment, and we have contacted the Chinese Embassy to obtain an original copy of the notice. As of this writing, Chinese social media site Weibo has banned searches for the Chinese translation of Battlefield 4. Searches for the game are met with the message: "According to relevant laws, regulations and policies, 'Battlefield 4' search results are not displayed." Users of the service have taken to referring to the game as "BF4," a term which has not yet been blocked.
The reported ban on Battlefield 4 follows the recent launch of downloadable content, the China Rising map pack, which was released on Windows PC, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One earlier this month. The DLC features four maps across mainland China. Shortly after the launch of the DLC, editorials in the Chinese media criticized the game for being used to "discredit one country's image in the eyes of other countries," which it saw as "a new form of cultural penetration and aggression." Battlefield 4's campaign mode may have also been a source of aggravation, with the story focusing on an antagonist named Admiral Chang and his plight to overthrow the Chinese government, win the support of the Russians and start a war with the U.S.