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.
The pilot’s mask appears to have rising sun imagery. While the off-centre 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 apologise 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.”
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. apologised 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.”