Leaked Documents Show What Roblox Had To Go Through To Do Business With China

Roblox fully expected to be hacked going into the deal.

Aspen Pash
By Aspen Pash, News Editor July 26, 2022
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Roblox

Newly published documentation by a criminal hacker who was attempting to extort Roblox unintentionally shows through said documentation just how difficult and highly controversial it can be to break into international markets as a game company, especially when said country has such strict censorship laws in place.

The publication on Motherboard offers an inside look at Roblox’s 2017 attempt to enter the Chinese market. To comply with Chinese censorship laws, Roblox would need to make sure that any maps created in the game “respect[ed] the integrity of the country and [did] not misrepresent the Chinese territory,” this would include the recognition of Beijing’s claim of self-ruled Taiwan as part of its territory, according to a presentation given to Roblox by Tencent (the company Roblox eventually partnered with). In addition, users and developers “must not tamper with historical facts” and “must not appear any images or names of national leaders.”

Roblox was also prepared for additional issues that may come from the partnership. To start, Roblox was expecting that its game would be hacked by whatever partner could bring Roblox to China. “Expect that hacking has already started,” reads one bullet point. “Expect hundreds of people working on reverse engineering the code.”

While Roblox did eventually go with Tencent, they were also considering the pros and cons of working with NetEase. NetEase is the same company that has been handling the recent publication of Diablo Immortal in China that may launch next week following delays. Still, despite the decision to partner with Tencent, five months after Roblox’s launch in the country, the company temporarily shut down the Chinese client in order to take “important transitory actions.”

For more information on what Roblox prepared for in entering the partnership, please check out the full post here.

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In this article: Tencent, NetEase, Roblox.

About the Author

Aspen Pash
Aspen Pash, News Editor
Aspen is an avid gamer currently residing in Japan. She is most attracted to games narrative design and is a huge fan of player choice in games. If Aspen is not playing games, she is most certainly writing about them.

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