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PUBG Apologizes For Rising Sun Imagery In Mobile Game

Illustration for article titled iPUBG/i Apologizes For Rising Sun Imagery In Mobile Game
Screenshot: PUBG Corp

This past Saturday, a weapon and mask pack was released for Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds Mobile. That same day, PUBG’s creators recalled the item pack, released an apology and began issuing refunds.


The pack included a pilot’s mask, which you can see below, via South Korean site Bzit.

Illustration for article titled iPUBG/i Apologizes For Rising Sun Imagery In Mobile Game
Screenshot: Bzit

The pilot’s mask appears to have rising sun imagery. While the off-center Rising Sun still might be the Japanese Navy’s official ensign, the imagery is offensive in many parts of Asia where it represents Japanese military aggression.

PUBG was originally launched by Seoul-based Bluehole, which spun off a subsidiary called PUBG Corp to manage the property.

According to The Korea Times, Korean gamers noticed the imagery, prompting PUBG Corp. to remove the mask and issue an apology. “We apologize for causing concerns over a pilot mask item,” the company stated (via The Korea Times). “We will conduct an overall re-examination of our image production process to prevent such a recurrence.”

Redditor Jpeyatt got the following message after purchasing the pack.

Illustration for article titled iPUBG/i Apologizes For Rising Sun Imagery In Mobile Game
Screenshot: Jpeyatt (Reddit)

As Kotaku previously posted, PUBG Mobile seems to be bot-central. The same day the Rising Sun mask was discovered, a bot with the ID “Unit 731" was found while a well-known streamer was playing the mobile version. The Imperial Japanese Army’s Unit 731 was responsible for heinous war crimes, such as human vivisection, among numerous other atrocious acts (more here).

PUBG Corp. apologized for the bot’s unsuitable name, adding, “We will enhance procedures to scrutinize game items before their releases and hold the person in charge responsible.”


Kotaku East is your slice of Asian internet culture, bringing you the latest talking points from Japan, Korea, China and beyond. Tune in every morning from 4am to 8am.

Originally from Texas, Ashcraft has called Osaka home since 2001. He has authored six books, including most recently, The Japanese Sake Bible.

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Let’s be clear just because the bigoted, right wing assholes who will eventually flood the comments section have never heard of the atrocities Imperial Japan committed during WWII doesn’t change that they still happened and still affect places like Korea to this day.

This isn’t censorship or “self-censorship” for that matter, the latter is just a Moving the Goalposts Fallacy Libritarians use to try and re-brand any change to an artist’s work that they don’t like as censorship. This is just another form of self-expression from having what most trolls around here lack: empathy for other people.